Norwich City earn rare win as Dean Smith insists his side are ‘still fighting’

Norwich City boss Dean Smith insisted his side are ‘still fighting’ as they earned just their fifth win of the season in a 2-0 victory over Burnley.

Pierre Lees-Melou gifted his side the lead after just nine minutes as his effort took two deflections before hitting the back of the Burnley net. The visitors fought hard for an equaliser however the Canaries held on to enter the break still with a goal advantage. With chances at both ends in the second half, it was Norwich who managed to double their lead through a Teemu Pukki header after 86 minutes.

The second goal secured victory for the hosts, who now sit seven points behind Everton – although Frank Lampard’s men still hold a game in hand.

But Smith insisted that victory over Burnley proved his side are still fighting, despite the tough challenge ahead.

He told Sky Sports: “Really pleased. I thought we defended our box really well and we showed some real quality in the first half in transition.

“The first goal was always going to be important and it was good it fell to us. We showed some quality in the second half that has probably been missing due to a lack of confidence. I still think we can look after the ball a bit better but you have to defend well against Burnley. I’m pleased we’ve had two clean sheets on the spin now.

“It shows we’re still fighting and I think that was important for our supporters. It gives our dressing room an awful lot of belief. We had hoped results would have gone a little better for us yesterday but we can only concentrate on ourselves. Who knows if you win two or three games on the spin, the world looks different.”

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Smith praises ‘calm’ goalscorer Pukki

The second goal came as Mathias Normann found an unmarked Pukki inside the Burnley box.

From there, the Finnish international composed himself, and managed to slot into the bottom-left corner.

And Smith was full of praise for the goal, as he also revealed what he told Pukki moments before.

He said: “There was a break in play so I said to [Teemu Pukki] you’ll get another chance.

“What a great touch from him. When he’s in that situation he’s so calm and I’m glad the supply was there.

READ MORE: Sean Dyche reflects on ‘missed chance’ as Burnley’s survival hopes dented by defeat