Fan group reacts as Dean Smith set to be announced as Norwich boss

File photo dated 01-05-2021 of Aston Villa manager Dean Smith during the Premier League match at Goo

Dean Smith is set to become the new Norwich City manager. - Credit: PA

The chairman of one of Norwich City's biggest fan groups believes the expected appointment of Dean Smith could keep the club in the Premier League.

Robin Sainty, chairman of the Canaries Trust, believes Smith was the safest choice out of the options available and despite initial concerns has grown to like him.

"I've spoken to a few of my Aston Villa connections and they've been full of praise for the work he's done," he said.

"I'm not doing cartwheels but it's an interesting appointment."

Canaries Trust chairman Robin Sainty described the club's ranking as 'well-deserved'. Picture: Archa

Robin Sainty is the chairman of the Canaries Trust. - Credit: Archant

Having researched Smith's work in more detail during his time at his previous clubs, Mr Sainty believes those experiences will set him up to succeed at Norwich City.

"I felt he did well at Walsall, and Thomas Frank has reaped the benefits of his work at Brentford," he said.

"He also did a good job at Aston Villa in getting them promoted and keeping them in the Premier League for two seasons."

After a week in which Norwich were strongly linked with both Kjetil Knutsen and Frank Lampard at different points, Mr Sainty conceded it had been a strange few days to be a City fan.

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"It felt completely bizarre," he added.

"At first, we all got very excited about Knutsen and felt like that would have been an interesting choice.

"I never felt like Lampard was a realistic option with all the media attention he brings.

"Smith crept in under the radar and came as a surprise to most people."

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish (left) and manager Dean Smith (right) celebrate with the trophy after wi

Dean Smith's Aston Villa beat Derby County in the Play Off Final in 2019. - Credit: PA

However, Mr Sainty believes that Smith could have his toughest challenge yet as Norwich seeks to retain its Premier League status.

"He's got to average more than a point a game which won't be easy.

"While the national media have already decided we’re already down - it’s not impossible and we can't think like that.

"We're five points from safety and there's 27 games still to go. Anything can happen."