PODCAST: 'No doubt' that new Canaries boss has made immediate impact

Norwich Head Coach Dean Smith applauds the fans at the end of the Premier League match at Carrow Roa

Head coach Dean Smith thanks the Carrow Road faithful after his victorious start to life at Norwich City - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

There is 'no doubt' that new head coach Dean Smith has made an immediate impact at Norwich City.

That was among the views expressed during the latest episode of the Pink Un Podcast, reviewing the Canaries' 2-1 win over Southampton at Carrow Road.

Smith made the call to replace Todd Cantwell with Josh Sargent at half-time with the score at 1-1 after a disjointed opening 45 minutes, with the messages delivered by the new boss and his assistant Craig Shakespeare inspiring a much-improved display after the break.

The success, secured by a Grant Hanley header in the 79th minute, moved City off the bottom of the Premier League table and secured a second win on the spin.

Our Canaries correspondents Paddy Davitt, David Freezer and Adam Harvey reviewed the victory after completing their post-match duties, for the latest episode of the Pinkun.com Norwich City Podcast.

- You can read part of their discussion below and listen to the podcast in full in the audio player above

Paddy Davitt: “Smith is certainly setting himself a high bar if he’s going to maintain this level of drama and, ultimately, positive results. 

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“The manner they achieved it and his role within it, it was by no means plain sailing, but him and his assistant Craig Shakespeare could deconstruct that in real time and came up with the answers. 

“The second half was Carrow Road at its best really, on and off the pitch.” 

David Freezer: “Those full-time scenes were pretty memorable weren’t they. What did you make of the way that Smith reacted to it all?"

Adam Harvey: “Obviously completely different to Daniel Farke, where he got the waves and all that jazz. I think he was just taking in his surroundings and the atmosphere, the reaction to what was a quite memorable win in his first game. 

“The excitement and the buzz around the stadium, I haven’t seen it like that since before lockdown. The roar when that header went in the back of the net was next to nothing that I can remember for a long time.” 

Freezer: “It was spot on. I suppose he was just soaking it all in really, rather than getting overexcited. I liked that he kept his calm there, he didn’t seem to go too mad after the goals either really. 

“Maybe the second one was a bit more animated but certainly the equaliser was just a small punch of the air from him and Shakespeare, they weren’t going over the top, because they are still 19th. 

“This is just the beginning and I know it’s boring, talking a bit like the players in terms of taking it one game at a time, but there is a heck of a lot of hard work ahead of them. 

“I said as we left the stadium that I’m pleased that they didn’t get a third as that probably would have flattered them - Theo Walcott definitely could have snatched a draw in injury-time and really spoiled the party - but it’s unavoidable that this is just that first building block, isn’t it?” 

Davitt: “Yeah and I think if you’re as experienced as Shakespeare and Smith, you know that to be the case, and they won’t be fooled by how that game finished in terms of the win and the manner they achieved it. 

“The first half there were some alarming signs again of vulnerability, more so without the ball, but even going forward, bar the goal, they didn’t really offer too much more in terms of an attacking threat. 

“Which makes it all the more remarkable that, sadly, we’ve seen that with Daniel Farke in the previous 11 games and he didn’t seemingly have the ability to alter what was happening in front of his eyes. 

“Would Daniel have seen what Smith and Shakespeare had seen and taken action at half-time, as Smith did? I have to say that I probably don’t believe, on the evidence of what we saw with Daniel during games, that he would have made those changes. 

“Would Southampton then have come out and been as dominant as they were in the first half, got another goal and then it’s game over? 

“That’s maybe being very harsh but what this game might show is why Stuart Webber has replaced Farke with what he sees as a proven Premier League head coach, who can make the difference. 

“There’s no doubt he did make the difference and there will be many Norwich fans who left that stadium with a renewed belief that they can possibly defy all those doom-mongers who have basically said they are here for the jolly, they’ve accepted their fate and they’re trooping back to the Championship. 

“Not on the evidence of that second half, definitely not.” 

- You can listen to the full episode - and subscribe to the Pink Un Podcast - in the audio player above or by clicking here

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