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6 August 2016

City boss delighted after opening day triumph

ALEX Neil was impressed with how Norwich City executed their game plan as they got off to a flying start in the Sky Bet Championship with a 4-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers.

City raced into a three-goal lead inside the first 24 minutes following strikes from Jacob Murphy, Wes Hoolahan and Cameron Jerome, with Steven Naismith adding the fourth after the break.

Neil had spoken of his desire for his team to spring out of the blocks in the second tier, and they certainly responded to that direction at Ewood Park with a convincing victory.

"I think it was important that we started off well," he told Norwich City TV post-match. "We know the qualities we've got as a group and at this level we should be causing teams problems. It's an easy thing to say that, but it's another thing doing it.

"It's the first win in 14 years on the opening day, so I'm really pleased. I thought the players were great, their attitude was great and they got their just rewards.

"It's going to be a long, hard season with ups and downs, but what we did today was show everybody what we're capable of doing."

Murphy's stunning 25-yard strike came on his first league appearance for the Canaries, and Neil praised the capabilities of his young players.

"I'm really pleased for Jacob because I took him out of the Hannover game," he added. "I played him then because I had a view of him starting today, and I thought he was excellent.

"The two Murphys, James Maddison, Sergi Canos, Alex Pritchard... We've got some really quality young players coming through.

"Everyone will play their part this season because we'll have injuries and suspensions. Having a younger squad, hungry guys coming through, is the best thing for us."

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