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2 January 2017

Boss challenges squad to keep up Derby level

ALEX Neil is hungry for more of the same from his players after they shone in beating in-form Derby County 3-0 at Carrow Road on Monday.

Nelson Oliveira's magnificent hat-trick gave an impressive City a commanding victory against a Rams side who hadn't lost in their previous ten Sky Bet Championship matches.

Neil said that the Canaries responded well to the demand for a result, telling Norwich City TV: "We needed a good performance. You could feel the tension in the crowd beforehand, we started nervously.

"Then Nelson produces a moment of quality, and it settled everybody down. From that point onwards, the players produced a real quality performance all over the pitch.

"The lads deserve a lot of credit for how they performed today, but as I said to them afterwards that we've got to maintain the levels.

"It can't be a one-off, because that's the difference between a top team and an average team basically. It should be the norm for us."

Oliveira, named as December's Anglian Home Improvements Player of the Month before kick-off, took his goal tally to seven in as many matches with a perfect treble.

Neil was full of praise for his frontman after the game, adding: "He's top quality player, I knew what I was getting.

"I spoke to Dougie Freedman at length when I was signing him, he was at Nottingham Forest with him.

"He's played for Portugal 25 times with Cristiano Ronaldo and guys like that, so there's no question that he's got ability.

"That's seven in seven for him now, and even in a team that hasn't been playing as well as what it's been capable of, he has still produced."

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