Norwich are improving, claims new boss Dean Smith

The Canaries took a point in a goalless draw at home to Wolves.

Sonia Twigg
Saturday 27 November 2021 18:10
Dean Smith felt Norwich’s performance during a goalless draw to Wolves was an improvement over their win against Southampton (Joe Giddens/PA)
Dean Smith felt Norwich’s performance during a goalless draw to Wolves was an improvement over their win against Southampton (Joe Giddens/PA)

Dean Smith felt Norwich’s performance in the goalless draw with Wolves was an improvement on their win against Southampton.

New boss Smith’s tenure got off to a winning start with a 2-1 home victory against Southampton last weekend and it was followed up by a significant point against a top-half Wolves team.

The Canaries had just one victory to their name when Smith replaced Daniel Farke just eight days after his own dismissal at Aston Villa and now have four points from his first two games as they pulled level on points with 18th-placed Burnley – although they have played a game more.

“I thought the performance was better than last week against Southampton. We were probably fortunate to get an extra two points last week and we were probably unfortunate that we probably lost a couple of points this week,” Smith said.

“I thought our overall performance was really good. They gave us problems in the first 20 minutes with the two players in the pockets but then we changed it and went a flatter three in midfield and I felt we dealt with that.

“When I first came in I said I wanted us to stop giving away big chances, which we did today. We restricted them to very few and I’m not sure (goalkeeper) Tim (Krul) has had much to do today and we created four big chances. On another day we win the game.”

Teemu Pukki spurned the best of Norwich’s chances, including one just after half-time when he found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper after being picked out by Lukas Rupp but his shot was straight at Jose Sa.

“I always believe if you’re not creating chances that’s the worry,” Smith added. “The fact is we’re creating them and we’ve got players who can go and score them and on another day Teemu (Pukki) goes away with a brace.

“That’s the big point for me – the goalkeeper made a good save in the first half, Rupp has had a good chance as well, so we’ve had a number of good chances where we could have been more clinical and won the game, but we’re certainly getting the players in the right areas to go and score goals.”

Wolves manager Bruno Lage admitted his side lacked a “spark” to find the breakthrough.

“I think we started the game very well. The first 20 minutes we managed the game the way we liked, it worked,” Lage said.

“In the final third I think we could be more aggressive and create our own chances. When the ball arrived I think we couldn’t do the moves the way we wanted to.

“Sometimes I think the players need to understand they can face situations in one against one and shoot to the goal. I think we missed a spark.

“Second half the game was more balanced. We lost some balls on the sides because of some transitions and Norwich created good chances for them, so if you look at the whole game it’s a point but I think in that moment we should do better.”

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