Dean Smith wrapped up his Blackpool preview with nostalgic recollections of the Big Dipper, the Grand National and ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hats. But he knows the Tangerines will relish the chance to send Norwich City packing.

Michael Appleton’s Seasiders have more modest Championship ambitions this season, yet Smith is wary of taking Blackpool lightly.

“They're not in the best runs of results at the moment but some of their performances have been really good,” he said. “They were 2-0 down and 3-1 down at Burnley and came back to draw.

"They are an aggressive team, especially during their home games, and they've got some good players. It is going to be a test.

“They have some loan players from big clubs, who have that ability, and they've got an experienced manager in Michael as well. I’ve come across him a number of times.

"Shakey (Craig Shakespeare) worked with him at West Brom. There'll be thinking a game at Bloomfield Road allows them to be a touch more aggressive.”

The Canaries’ chief knows it is imperative they find a winning groove at the start of eight games in 28 days.

“My analyst said we've got nine games, five on Saturdays and three on Tuesdays. And I did say to him you know that added up to eight when I went to school,” he joked.

“We know there's a World Cup, so we've had to pack some games in. We've just got to see it as an opportunity to go and get as many points as we can, as early as we can.

"But it's certainly going to be testing for everybody in the squad.

"The good thing for me is that it is Saturday, Tuesday, so we actually get to build a process of how we're going to recover, and what we're going to do for the next few days in between.

"We have a core group who know what this league is about. They're really hardened to it, and they understand it. So they're definitely more than capable of dealing with this schedule.”

The Pink Un: Norwich City will change shirt sponsor for one game onlyNorwich City will change shirt sponsor for one game only (Image: Focus Images Limited)

Smith only welcomed back his international contingent in the last couple of days, but did use the domestic pause to reflect on the performance issues flagged from two hard-fought Carrow Road encounters against Bristol City and West Brom.

“I've sat down with the players who stayed behind and we did a debrief on the West Brom game," he said. "We had 70pc possession but unfortunately it was largely amongst our back line and holding midfielder. And we never really got in and hurt them.

"We never moved the ball quick enough and had too many touches at times. We've come up with ideas of why that was the case.

“You also have to credit the opposition at times, because they packed the midfield and in a 4-5-1 made it really, really difficult to get any space in the pockets where you want to get it.

"You've got to move the ball quicker in situations like that.”

Andrew Omobamidele’s willingness to step into midfield in the second half against the Baggies was a signal Smith is keen to encourage individual responsibility within City’s overall strategy.

“They need that freedom,” he said. “I feel at the moment with the amount of ball that we're getting we can be a little bit more fluid, and if that means Andrew stepping in and you know, finding a pass or breaking the lines that is not a problem.

“When we first arrived I spoke about wanting to curb the natural attacking instincts of a player like Max Aarons, but the reasoning behind that was obviously in the Premier League we played teams who we gave away too many big chances every game, and we got punished.”

Norwich’s testing recent home duels against Bristol City and West Brom again highlighted the on going debate around improving the Carrow Road atmosphere.

But City will be backed by more than 1,700 fans at Bloomfield Road.

“I'll continue to repeat myself. We appreciate everybody who's going up there,” said Smith. “The fans that went up to Sunderland the other week, and they're going again, and you know, they might even get a go on the Big Dipper.

“I think it's been okay (at Carrow Road). I mean, I thought Wigan, the first game of the season at home, I thought Millwall on the Friday night was a really good noise. Fans want to see winning games.

"The Coventry game was really good when we're winning. They want to see attacking football and it's our job to get them out of their seats and cheering.

“I can understand in the West Brom game why the atmosphere didn’t feel so good and they weren't super boisterous, because the game wasn't that way.

"I could see that and sense myself that from the dugout.”