Smith insists City will be back after Spurs' rout

Dean Smith endured another torrid Premier League day in charge after a 5-0 Tottenham defeat

Dean Smith endured another torrid Premier League day in charge after a 5-0 Tottenham defeat - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City head coach Dean Smith is pledging to lead the Championship fightback after a painful 5-0 farewell to the Premier League against Tottenham. 

Smith admitted the ‘lap of appreciation’ around the Carrow Road pitch following a final day humiliation is something he never wants to repeat. 

But the City chief is adamant there will no top flight hangover after a meek Premier League exit. 

“The club has had a couple tastes of the Premier League, and on each occasion we have not been good enough to stay in it,” he said. “But we know how hard you have to fight to get into it, and we will be ready.

"The lap at the end was tough. Really tough. It is not something I want to go through again but I am thankful to the support we did receive from those fans who clapped us at the end. They had every right not to be out there at the final whistle.

"But they chose to be there and it was very important we showed our appreciation to them after a season which has been a poor one for the club. That shows the uniqueness of this football club.  

“Historically this club in recent times has found a way to get out of the Championship. Myself and Shakey (Craig Shakespeare) have found ways to get out of the Championship and we will be prepared to do it again. There will be enough motivation.” 

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Smith, who had never previously been relegated in his coaching career, felt trying to halt Tottenham’s Champions League charge was a bridge too far. 

“Listen it has been hard for the past four games. Hard for motivation for players and staff members, when you know already you are a Championship team for next season,” he said. “I thought we got something out of the Wolves game but Tottenham was a step too far for us. They had too much quality. 

“The first half probably summed up our season, where we started okay. We gave away two really poor goals. One an individual mistake, one where we don’t cover a deep runner and they get in with a 40 yard run over the top.

"We have made too many individual errors this season that has cost us goals. The quality of the players you are facing week in, week out, they will punish you. We make mistakes, they score. Sometimes when they make mistakes, we don’t score. That is the difference in quality.

"Then when we have moments of our own we don’t take them. We knew that second half could be damage limitation, while trying to see where we could get into it. Again, we allow him to come inside us and bend it in the top corner for the third.

"The quality of their finishing was excellent. But for me, where we are lacking is when we lose the ball we don’t have the athleticism at the moment to win it back quick enough. That is something we will change this summer."

Tim Krul was involved in a calamitous second Tottenham goal, when his intended pass for Mathias Normann was pounced on by Rodrigo Bentancur, who squared for Harry Kane.

Krul's return to the line up after Angus Gunn's impressive recent displays prompted many to ponder if that signalled the Dutchman's final City game.

"(Are people reading too much into it?) Probably," smiled Smith. "Angus Gunn has done well the last couple of games. I wanted to give him minutes and he didn’t deserve to get left out.

"I am acutely aware there are some internationals coming up and Tim will be involved with Holland and I wanted to give him some minutes."