Soccer-Smith confident of keeping Norwich in the Premier League

Despite Norwich being five points away from the safety zone, Smith believes the squad has enough quality to avoid an immediate return to the second tier. "We believe the quality is there but the mentality also needs to be there," Smith told a news conference ahead of his first game in charge against Southampton on Saturday.


Reuters | Updated: 19-11-2021 17:00 IST | Created: 19-11-2021 17:00 IST
Soccer-Smith confident of keeping Norwich in the Premier League

Norwich City's Dean Smith has never been relegated as a manager and is confident he can maintain that record this season, despite his new side being bottom of the Premier League with five points from 11 games. Norwich won their first game of the season just before the international break with a 2-1 win at Brentford, but that was not enough to save Daniel Farke, who was sacked and replaced by Smith.

The 50-year-old had himself recently been dismissed by Aston Villa and arrived at Carrow Road with a record of never being relegated as a coach in stints at Walsall, Brentford and then Villa. Despite Norwich being five points away from the safety zone, Smith believes the squad has enough quality to avoid an immediate return to the second tier.

"We believe the quality is there but the mentality also needs to be there," Smith told a news conference ahead of his first game in charge against Southampton on Saturday. "I looked at the squad, I spoke to Neil (Adams, assistant sporting director) and Stuart (Webber, sporting director) and I liked what I saw. Some people will say it's a risk but I see it as an opportunity," he added.

"The first season after promotion is the hardest, survival has to be the aim. If you survive then you can build." Smith said that midfielder Todd Cantwell appeared to be fit but that he would be assessed to see if he could play a part in Saturday's game, and stressed the importance of the home fans playing a bigger part in the team's bid for survival.

"We need them to get behind us. The only way we'll win football games is if we all pull together," he said. Southampton go into the match on the back of two wins - the last of which was a 1-0 victory over Villa that sealed Smith's fate at Villa Park.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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