Smith aims to turn up the heat on City squad

Isaac Hayden (pictured left) settled for a watching brief in Norwich City's friendly win at Dereham

Isaac Hayden (pictured left) settled for a watching brief in Norwich City's friendly win at Dereham - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City’s squad and supporters will be in no doubt what a Dean Smith side looks like by the end of pre-season. 

City fly out to Germany on Sunday for an eight day training camp that culminates with a friendly against Bundesliga 2 side SSV Jahn Regensburg on Saturday. 

A 4-0 win at Dereham last Friday was a gentle opener, but Smith aims to test his players to the limit to prepare for the Championship kick-off at Cardiff on July 30. 

“I like to push them. I like them to be under stress in a couple of the games, in terms of also balancing the training load, because you can test their mentality as well as their physical attributes,” he said. “But chiefly pre-season is setting out how I want us to play.

"One of those is being better without the ball. I saw small signs (at Dereham) when we lost it how quickly we counter-pressed.

"I know Dereham is a lot lower level but you still have to win the ball back quickly against whoever you play. That is one of our principles.  

“Germany will give us a chance to do a bit of bonding as well as the football but there will be some double and triple sessions and a couple of early risers for them.

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"I really like going away with the players because it is 24/7 and you get to see them up close and learn about them.” 

City’s international contingent will return towards the end of the week in Germany. While Adam Idah, Andrew Omobamidele and Josh Sargent will be back to full training on Monday after injury-hit Premier League seasons. 

“It is a bit of a stop start one at present,” said Smith. “We have 10 who were away on international duty and they will join up on Wednesday, and be training from Thursday onwards.

"Added to that we have the four injured lads, or three injured lads in Adam Idah, Andrew and Josh Sargent who will join training from Monday. They will be with us full-time.

"Probably the only one we have to be mindful of, in terms of training load, is Andrew because he had that stress injury and especially when the pitches are hard this early in the season.” 

New signing Isaac Hayden and Sam Byram were absent for that reason against the Magpies, in a run out that ticked all the boxes for the City head coach. 

“First and foremost we wanted to get 45 minutes into the players’ legs,” he said. “We wanted to play a local one. We have only been on the training ground for four days, and we wanted a local one for our fans and to help out a local club.

"We did all that. We should have scored a lot more goals but some of the things we have been working on I could see.”