Norwich City will not lose the art of surprise during the second half of the season, according to Andrew Surman.

The past two seasons provide a lesson for the Canaries, after promising starts for Burnley and Blackpool turned sour once the Christmas period came and went.

In 2009-10, the Clarets were relegated in their first Premier League campaign despite picking up 19 points in their first 17 games – while Blackpool’s top-flight return started like a train with 25 points, but also ended with an immediate return to the second tier.

City’s own record sits between the two – ninth place with 21 points – and while Paul Lambert’s Canaries will lose part of their surprise factor as they start their return fixtures next year, Surman is not worried.

“I suppose teams didn’t really know what to expect from us at the start of the season, but I think all the teams that got promoted have got good enough players to stay in the division,” he said.

“We have good strength in depth to keep teams guessing and a few shapes we can play, and it will probably come to that at the end of the season. But if people keep picking up points they will be fine.”

Unbeaten in three matches since their 5-1 thrashing at Manchester City, there is plenty for Norwich fans to smile about heading into Christmas – not only looking back at a memorable 2011, but forward to two big home games: high-flying Tottenham on Tuesday and Fulham on New Year’s Eve.

“We won’t have too good a Christmas with the game Tuesday; we’ll just look forward to resting our legs a bit,” added Surman. “It’s been a great time. The last two season have been incredible here.

“It’s great for the fans. I’m sure they enjoy watching us – they probably don’t enjoy how open it is because everyone is sat on the edge of their seat all the time. We’re just pleased we can give them something to cheer about. And we’ve had a great start, but it will mean nothing if we get relegated, so we have got to keep it going.”