Smith sets out Norwich principles after seeing standards in Southampton win

Date published: Saturday 20th November 2021 10:16 - Samuel Bannister

Dean Smith thinks Norwich City can take belief from their win over Southampton, who received the first taste of what it may be like to play his side at Carrow Road.

Smith took the Norwich manager’s job on Monday, just days after being dismissed by Aston Villa. Having replaced Daniel Farke, who ended his Canaries reign with their first win of the season, Smith secured a second victory on the bounce for the club.

They defeated Southampton 2-1 despite going behind within four minutes. Teemu Pukki quickly cancelled out Che Adams’ opener before Grant Hanley won it in the second half.

Norwich have climbed off the foot of the table as a result, overtaking Newcastle into 19th place.

There is a long way for them to go yet, but Smith thinks he can turn Norwich into a solid outfit especially at home.

He said: “Winning two on the spin is hard to do and coming from behind is hard to do, so this should build on the belief gained from the Brentford game.

“Home form is really important. We know how hard the Premier League is and when you have home advantage and the supporters behind you, like they were today, it is really important.

“We want to make this a tough place to come, win, lose or draw. Whenever a team leaves, they have to say this was a tough place to come.

“Southampton will say that. They were at a good level in first half but we improved and deserved to win.”

Smith has some talent to work with in the squad he has inherited. He pointed to the performance of Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams as one positive, for example.

He added: “I thought it was a good team performance, especially second half, and they stuck together.

“Young Brandon Williams was excellent, in particular defensively, and these players will grow. We have only had two training sessions and they will get better.

“It was a tough first 45. They got off to a great start and I was thinking back to two weeks earlier when they got off to great start against Aston Villa when I was there. But the players showed great character.”

Hasenhuttl: ‘Dominating is not enough’

Ralph Hasenhuttl reacts during a defeat for Southampton

As Smith referred to, Southampton went away knowing they had been in a game.

However, their boss Ralph Hasenhuttl felt they should have taken advantage more of their own pressure.

He said: “In the end, when you concede two goals like we did, it affects the game.

“We had a fantastic first half and we must kill them. Dominating is not enough against a team trying to find their rhythm.

“We must score more than once and it was clear the longer the game goes with the crowd, the new manager, it is normal they put you on the back foot.

“This is where you have to take the point and that is why I am disappointed.”

Hasenhuttl added of Smith after facing him two weeks ago against Villa: “With a good start like he had now, everything is possible.”

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