Smith sets out his red lines to City squad

Dean Smith has set out what he expects from his Norwich City squad

Dean Smith has outlined what he expects from his Norwich City squad - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

Dean Smith has already spelt out his ‘non negotiables’ to the Norwich City players. 

The new Canaries’ head coach has had precious little time to work on the training pitch after a hectic week. 

But whoever Smith entrusts for his first Premier League outing in front of the home fans at Carrow Road against Southampton knows what is expected. 

“It's not information overload but, obviously some principles I like in my teams are non negotiables,” he said. “We've gone through them on day one, we'll do a little bit more on day two, but there won't be massive change because it's only two sessions. 

"The players will have got a lift from that first win over Brentford, so you don’t want to change too much. 

“Some can be set pieces, some can be throw ins, and what we're doing defensively from opposition throw ins. Some are principles in how you defend your box, but also how you attack the opposition as well. I have spoken a lot about small details that can change games, and set pieces are certainly one of them.

"That's something we've touched on already. You can get easier wins with set pieces straight away because they're so important. Corners, for and against, can win you games. 

Most Read

“The organisation, the structure, the change in terms of how we want to go and press, and some patterns of play in terms of how we build and create in the middle third of the pitch.” 

Teemu Pukki is Norwich City's top scorer this season with three Premier League goals

Teemu Pukki is Norwich City's top scorer this season with three Premier League goals - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Smith takes over a squad who is the lowest scorers in English professional football this season. But his priority remains addressing their failures at the other end of the pitch in the shorter term. 

“We know there's big problems if we are the lowest scorers in the English Football League. We need to go and create more chances,” he said. “From what I've seen already the players want to get in those areas to score goals. We know how difficult it is at this level especially against this Southampton team, who aren't conceding many at all as well.  

“But defensively, we need to become harder to beat. That was one of the things I stressed when I first came through the door. You know if you keep a clean sheet, you've got a point to start with. The start is to become hard to beat, but with the creative talent we've got, we should be creating a lot more chances.” 

NCFC Extra: Team news for Norwich City v Southampton

Smith is well aware of the symmetry that pitches him straight back in against the club who inflicted his last defeat as Aston Villa boss the other side of the international break. 

“It is a different set of players that we have here to Aston Villa so there'll be a different approach to the game as well,” he said. “They break really quickly, they get good numbers in your penalty box, that can be five or six in your penalty box at once.

"A high energy team who will press you as well. Our job is to go and play in their half - go and try and control the game. But it will be difficult to do because they are a good team. 

“We would have analysed Southampton before we played them for Aston Villa and the analysis team here would have been doing some work as well. There is certainly some cross over in the things that I'd previously seen for Aston Villa and what the analysis team has seen here.”