Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 5-0 Championship win against Brentford
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Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his snap verdict from Carrow Road
1. Alex Pritchard shines centre stage - What an audition from the young man in his first start operating in the number 10 role since his summer move from Tottenham. Pritchard prodded and probed with intelligence and quality throughout. The reverse ball for Robbie Brady's third goal was superb and he started and finished the move for the fifth. If ever a man deserved a goal it was the 23-year-old. Marker laid down.
2. Fresh blood, fresh injection - The feelgood factor pre-match once news broke Jonny Howson and Ivo Pinto were back in the starting line up was maintained when the action got underway. Pinto adds drive and energy but Howson was serene at times in those congested central areas. The home support rose to deliver a merited standing ovation when he was substituted just before the end. Alex Neil settled for a hug.
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3. Line in the sand or brief respite? - No more talk of five-game losing streaks and all the torrent of pressure building on Alex Neil and his under-performing players. But this emphatic result and power-packed performance must be more than brief respite for all concerned. It has to be the start of surge back up the Championship standings. Time will tell.
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4. Hail, big Nelson. - Nelson Oliveira's first Championship goal was richly deserved for a shift dripping in endeavour. The swivel and then unerring near post finish past Daniel Bentley bore the hallmarks of a striker who in the right setting and with the right service can plunder goals in the second tier. That will do the big man's confidence no harm at all.
5. Defensive concerns persist - Churlish perhaps given the margin of victory but there was a spell either side of the interval that underlined City are still vulnerable. Better sides with better attacking weaponry are going to test the Canaries moving forward but a first clean sheet in many months is a start.