Thursday 20 October 2016

Alex Neil happy with Norwich's attacking options

Published 25/09/2015 | 13:30

Alex Neil wants there to be competition for places in Norwich's attack
Alex Neil wants there to be competition for places in Norwich's attack

Manager Alex Neil is confident Norwich now have plenty of attacking options needed to compete in the Barclays Premier League.

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The Canaries head to West Ham on Saturday following a 3-0 Capital One Cup win over West Brom and a battling 1-1 draw last weekend at Liverpool.

Captain Russell Martin netted the equaliser at Anfield, the defender's third goal of the season making him an unlikely top scorer.

Northern Ireland frontman Kyle Lafferty scored his first goal for the club since January against the Baggies, when on loan Dinamo Kiev forward Dieumerci Mbokani also featured in attack.

With Lewis Grabban now back in the fold following a club suspension and Gary Hooper close to returning from injury, Neil expects the healthy competition to keep everyone on their toes.

"I have a few difficult decisions and that competition is exactly what you want," he said.

"I want it to become difficult because whatever way you look at it you are going to be leaving out one or two very good players.

"I was delighted for Kyle that he got his goal and Dieumerci had a great chance just before he came off, but for the two of them to score would have probably been asking too much."

Neil added: "Lewis is desperate to do well. They all are. It shows the spirit we have in the group.

"What you tend to find is the lads playing regularly are all pleased and the other lads are less so, but I felt those not featuring regularly showed what it meant to play for Norwich."

Neil is confident Norwich will soon see the best of Congo forward Mbokani.

"That would certainly have helped him. He showed he can compete in the Premier League. I was pleased for him and with him," the Norwich boss said.

"He gave a good account of himself. The biggest thing you question with foreign players is that physicality of the Premier League because it is not leagues like Spain or Portugal where there is much physical contact.

"He thrives on that side of the game. I thought technically he linked the game really well. Maybe he could have got in the box more but in training he is more than capable of doing that."

On loan West Ham winger Matt Jarvis was also on target in the midweek cup tie, but is not eligible against his parent club.

Robbie Brady is expected to fill in on the left ahead of fit again Sweden full-back Martin Olsson.

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