New boss Dean Smith confident Norwich can stay in Premier League

The Canaries are currently five points from safety

Sonia Twigg
Wednesday 17 November 2021 15:18
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Dean Smith believes there is enough quality in the Norwich squad to stay in the Premier League (Simon Marper/PA)
Dean Smith believes there is enough quality in the Norwich squad to stay in the Premier League (Simon Marper/PA)

New Norwich City manager Dean Smith believes there is enough quality in the Canaries’ squad to retain their Premier League status.

Smith made a swift return to management just over a week after he was sacked by Aston Villa following five straight Premier League defeats.

Having signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Carrow Road, Smith’s first challenge will be to ensure top-flight survival with City bottom of the table and five points from safety despite securing their first victory of the season at Brentford on 6 November.

“The top of the in-tray is not to concede goals, we’ve conceded too many already and defensively we want to make our structure and organisation a lot stronger and we’ve got talented players and we need to go and score more goals obviously,” Smith said.

“We haven’t scored as many as we would have liked to, but there’s definitely players there who can do both sides of the job. I think there’s enough quality, that’s the biggest thing.

“When I spoke to Stuart (Webber, Norwich’s sporting director), he believes in the squad of players, I’ve looked at the squad of players with Craig (Shakespeare, assistant head coach) and we both believe that it’s a squad that probably aren’t producing the results they need and our job is to improve their performance levels. If we do that then we’ll get the results.”

Dean Smith believes Norwich have enough quality in their squad to avoid relegation (Simon Marper/PA)

Smith successfully fought a relegation battle with Villa during the 2019-20 season and will be assisted by Craig Shakespeare, who worked with him in his previous job.

His first game at the helm will be the visit of Southampton on Saturday.

Saints were Smith’s last opponents while he was in charge of Villa, with a 1-0 defeat followed by his exit two days later.

Smith was then approached by Norwich the following day and was officially announced on Monday.

“I think certainly coming into the training ground here at Colney and meeting up with the staff, I already have an idea of how Southampton play because we came up against them so recently in the last game I managed for Villa,” he added.

“So it should help me in terms of not having to catch up so much compared to if it was a club that I’ve not played against, but they beat Aston Villa 1-0 so we have to turn the result around with the performance.”

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