Norwich City’s firing squad target Leeds United
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Shoot on sight is Alan Irvine’s message to Norwich City’s emerging force Alex Pritchard.
The 23-year-old has been the stand out performer over the Canaries’ Championship run in with a string of influential displays, but was denied a brace in bizarre fashion against Brighton last time out at Carrow Road.
Pritchard’s two strikes from outside the area cannoned against the woodwork before hitting luckless Seagulls’ stopper David Stockdale and being credited as own goals to the Brighton keeper.
Norwich’s squad is one of the most prolific scorers in the division and Pritchard will be a key figure again this weekend at Leeds United after becoming an ever-present under Irvine since the Scot replaced Alex Neil on an interim basis until the end of the season.
“Alex deserved to score and I am sure David Stockdale would much rather have given them to him,” said Irvine. “I will take another two goals like that this week and the week after.
“If he is going to hit the woodwork like that and watch the ball come back off the bar and go in I think he would take that himself.
“It was something we talked about before the game. We felt there would be chances if we went on the outside and then cut back in to have chances in and around the box. It was one of the areas we identified to get shots away at that time. It is all very well me showing them it but they have to do it and Alex did.”
Irvine appears to have addressed City’s phobia against higher-placed rivals after plotting wins against the likes of Brighton and Reading, but defeats to Fulham and at Huddersfield underline there is still work to do ahead of their final away league trip of the campaign this weekend.
“We have been inconsistent for too long this season,” he said. “There have been long periods of inconsistency. Despite the fact we are one of the top scoring sides in the division if you don’t defend better you will not pick up enough points and that is what has happened to us.
“Up until four games ago we hadn’t beaten anybody above us in the league, now we have beaten three in the last four, if you include Preston as well.
“That is what we should be doing and I fully believe that, which is why it was terrific to do it against Brighton.”
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