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Fitness boosts for Norwich City ahead of Cardiff clash

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:29 07 September 2016

Alex Pritchard in action for Norwich City U23s against Valencia. Picture: Jason Dawson/Jasonpix

Alex Pritchard in action for Norwich City U23s against Valencia. Picture: Jason Dawson/Jasonpix

JASONPIX

Summer signing Alex Pritchard looks set for a return to first-team duty with Norwich City, after a sparkling showing for the Canaries' under-23s.

Alex Pritchard in action for Norwich City U23s against Valencia. Picture: Jason Dawson/JasonpixAlex Pritchard in action for Norwich City U23s against Valencia. Picture: Jason Dawson/Jasonpix

The £8million capture from Tottenham set up Carlton Morris for the first of City’s goals in a 2-0 win over Valencia U23s last night, in a Premier League International Cup group game at Carrow Road.

The 23-year-old has not featured for the first team since the opening day of the season, when he strained a stomach muscle during a late substitute appearance.

The tricky midfielder was withdrawn at half-time in a pre-planned substitution, alongside fellow returnee Graham Dorrans, who is making his way back from a groin strain.

“It was always planned to give them 45 minutes, that’s what the gaffer (Alex Neil) wanted,” City’s U23s coach Dmitri Halajko said. “First half we were the dominant team, we controlled the ball and had the better chances, but second half was slightly different.”

After the withdrawal of Pritchard and Dorrans, City lost their rhythm and were thankful to another summer signing, 
goalkeeper Paul Jones, for denying Valencia with several good saves.

The 30-year-old was signed on a free from Portsmouth, after Declan Rudd’s season-long loan move to Charlton.

“There were some great saves,” Halajko continued. “That’s what goalies are there for, when they’re called upon, but he made some real good saves from chances that otherwise would have been goals for certain. So he came up trumps for us.”

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