House of Pain is music to Smith's ears

Dean Smith loved his first Carrow Road outing as Norwich City head coach

Dean Smith loved his first Carrow Road outing as Norwich City head coach - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Dean Smith wants Carrow Road to be a horrible place to come for Premier League foes after Norwich City sent Southampton packing on his 2-1 debut day win. 

Smith had called for unity and togetherness in the build up and the new Norwich head coach was not disappointed with a rip-roaring second display on and off the park. 

City head to Wolves this weekend striving for a third straight win, but the Canaries' survival chances may hinge on making their home a fortress. 

“When anybody leaves our stadium they need to know they have had a tough game. Southampton did,” he said. “We know now that if we get these supporters on side it can be a really tough place to come. You could see the emotion from the fans at the end of the game.

"We want to go and produce for them, because it has been tough in the Premier League so far. Once you get a little bit of momentum, be it from the players or the fans, you need to build on that. I thought the players grew.  

“Southampton played to a really high level in that first half and it was important we stayed in the game. Tim Krul made some good saves, and we got some good blocks in.” 

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Smith played down his tactical tweaks at the break to trigger a storming comeback, which included a half-time exit for Todd Cantwell on his first senior appearance since September 18. 

“We spoke about our full backs getting out to their full backs on the big switches, and we never did that enough," he said. "We played with a safety by numbers in the first half, yet got over-run at times. We wanted a mid-press but we never got close enough to it. 

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"You need to go and be aggressive against a team like Southampton, and go and engage and press higher up.” 

Kieran Dowell had been preferred to Cantwell in the final weeks of Daniel Farke’s tenure, but Smith confirmed his absence was due to a ‘Covid-related’ illness. 

“He is okay. He is asymptomatic, I believe, so now we just have to wait on the timescale,” said the City chief.