City trading in a different currency to Magpies

Kenny McLean was a key figure in Norwich City's midfield against Wolves

Kenny McLean was a key figure in Norwich City's midfield against Wolves - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Newcastle United may have the deep pockets but Norwich City have the belief they can prevail in a Premier League relegation duel that feels bigger than three points at stake. 

Eddie Howe is the front man for new Saudi ownership that reportedly makes the Magpies the richest club in the world. 

But City head to St James’ Park for Howe’s first official home assignment on Tuesday three points clear, and three games unbeaten. 

Dean Smith has already made his mark in quick order at Carrow Road and does not subscribe to the theory Newcastle will be able to spend their way out of the mire in the January transfer window. 

“It's always difficult to feel you can buy your way out of any position, or into any position, just because you bring players into a squad,” he said. “First of all, they have to go and settle in.

"It is an integration process, certainly if they are not British based or haven't tasted the Premier League before there's a newness about everything.

"The Premier League is a very talented league and every club gives you a challenge. So it is very difficult to buy a place in the top six, or at the top, or get out of the bottom three. 

Most Read

“January has always been difficult window for any team. Prices are over-inflated but that probably doesn't matter to Newcastle at the moment, if they have the riches we are being told about.

"They've got to have a good plan because people are already talking about January and what they're going to do, but the season is in progress and the current squad will be playing their hearts out to win football games.

"Normally you are firing up the players already there, because they want to play a big part in Newcastle trying to stay in the league.” 

NCFC Extra: Team news Newcastle United v Norwich City 

Smith has certainly lit a fire under City’s squad, but rejects the idea he has engineered a ‘transformation’. 

“I don't think I have. I think the players have,” he said. “There's good players at this football club, a good squad here.

"Sometimes they just need to have that inner belief and inner confidence and embrace the fact that they're Premier League players, and they deserve to be. They've shown that over the last couple of games. 

"We've got an average of two points in the last two home games and we have got the supporters behind us. I must say the atmosphere in both games has been magnificent. It goes a long way to helping us get the points tally we need. 

Dean Smith and his assistant, Craig Shakespeare, take Norwich City on the road for the first time to Newcastle

Dean Smith and his assistant, Craig Shakespeare, take Norwich City on the road for the first time to Newcastle - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

“When we came in, we wanted to make sure the side became tougher to beat.

"The fact Tim (Krul) did not had an awful lot to do on Saturday shows that we can be hard to beat, but also do enough to create chances.

"Our strengths are we are a good football team. The things that we've had to work harder on are being a tough team to beat, and to win the ball back a little bit higher.  

“Our physical statistics have been excellent since I've been here. So we know, fitness-wise, we are a match for anyone."