Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 4-1 Championship win over Blackburn
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his snap verdict on the final whistle at Ewood Park
1. Bring on the young guns - First league start and a first senior goal to dream of for starlet Jacob Murphy. The young man's inclusion was the only leftfield call from Alex Neil, at least to those outside the camp, but the 21-year-old justified his manager's faith with a sublime strike to set Norwich City on their way. As the away fans chanted in the aftermath, 'he's one of our own'.
2. Hail the Irish Messi - Can it be true? Wes Hoolahan appears to be getting better with age. That and perhaps the confidence surge from a starring role for the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2016 against some of the best players in the world. Hoolahan followed up his three pre-season goals in two outings with a measured first-half finish to double Norwich's lead. Add a consistent goal threat to his vision and close control, as he demonstrated with the pass for Steven Naismith's goal, and this could be a stellar season for the 34-year-old.
3. Don't forget me gaffer - Cameron Jerome may not be one for message boards or mainstream media; which is just as well given the last few days have been dominated by the failed pursuit for Ross McCormack. Neil is still in the market for one, possibly two, new strikers before the window closes but Jerome's close range finish was a perfect reminder to his manager and the doubters he can do the business in the Championship.
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4. Yellow army - Too easy to take for granted the loyalty of Norwich City's support but after a second relegation in two seasons, 1,535 made the long trek. All the more impressive given there was just 11,000 home fans for a club who won the Premier League title and played in the European Cup in the good times.
5. Strength in depth - Alex Pritchard started on the bench after his big-money move from Tottenham during the build-up. Sergi Canos and James Maddison were not selected in the match-day squad and both Robbie Brady and Russell Martin watched on as they return to full fitness. Be in no doubt even before a potential final flurry in the market this Norwich squad is as good as any in the division. Martin Olsson's early second-half injury exit merely brought Scottish international Steven Whittaker to the field to underline the point.