Norwich City sharp shooter Nelson Oliveira is the real deal, insists Alex Neil

Norwich City hitman Nelson Oliveira celebrates his Derby opener with Ivo Pinto. Picture: Paul Cheste

Norwich City hitman Nelson Oliveira celebrates his Derby opener with Ivo Pinto. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's new cult hero Nelson Oliveira is a sure fire hit for Alex Neil.

Oliveira was unveiled as the answer to Norwich's summer-long striker search when he completed a reported £5m move from Benfica at the end of August.

The red-hot Portuguese international plundered a hat-trick to sink Derby County earlier this week to take his recent tally to seven goals in seven games - after taking time to win over his doubters.

Neil had been heavily linked with the likes of Ross McCormack and Dwight Gayle to bolster City's frontline, but opted for the 25-year-old after he impressed last season at Nottingham Forest.

'People maybe questioned me and him given the money we signed him for but I knew it would take a bit of time,' said Neil. 'He is a top player. We knew what we were getting when we signed him. I did a lot of background work. I spoke to Dougie Freedman, who had him at Nottingham Forest. It took him a little bit of time to settle. Cameron (Jerome) was in great form at the start of the season so it was a case he had to bide his time and wait for his chance. I brought him on as a substitute a couple of times and he found it tough to get up to speed but when you start him his quality is there all for to see.'

Oliveira has the pedigree to light up the Championship after playing for Portugal at Euro 2012 alongside Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

'I think he has made a good start to his Norwich career but there is more to come,' said Neil. 'I don't know if it is the best hat-trick I have ever seen but it certainly felt like the best for me. If you look at what he has contributed in the last few games he has been excellent.

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'His goal record has been fantastic but to score three goals in any game is superb. This is a guy who has played 25 times for Portugal. He has played with Ronaldo and all those sort of guys.

'There were a few question marks because he wasn't getting a lot of game-time but he just needed a settling in period.'