Pundits praise City's progress but highlight poor conversion rate

Jose Sa of Wolverhampton Wanderers denies Teemu Pukki of Norwich during the Premier League match at

Teemu Pukki couldn't make the most of a Lukas Rupp pass in the second half of City's draw with Wolves - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Converting chances is the vital next step in the Premier League journey for Norwich City according to the Match of the Day pundits. 

Gary Lineker was joined by fellow former England internationals Jermaine Jenas and Micah Richards to review the Canaries’ encouraging 0-0 home draw with Wolves. 

“Another 0-0 that probably shouldn’t have been, in many ways, but Norwich are giving themselves a glimmer of hope, no question about that,” said Lineker. 

“Seven points in the last three games, Dean Smith off to a good start.” 

As the game’s big chances were replayed, former Tottenham and Newcastle midfielder Jenas continued: “Exactly that. He said it during his interview at the end there that it’s just about being much more clinical in front of goal, that’s the bottom line of it. 

“It’s very positive that you’re getting into those situations, players were getting higher up the pitch. 

“But I loved how many bodies that got forward in the game, they really made life difficult. 

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“A big chance for Max Aarons to stick the ball in the net but the chances are coming and that’s a huge positive for Dean Smith. 

“He just snatched at a few today, Pukki, I thought he could maybe take that one around the keeper and be a bit more composed – and then Rupp at the end. 

“These are not small chances that we’re showing here, these are big, big chances and with Norwich where they are, one of these should be in the back of the net. 

“We should end by saying that it has been a positive start for Dean Smith but they have the worst conversion rate in the league is the bottom line of it.” 

That was illustrated by a table showing Norwich have a conversion rate of 5.2pc (seven goals from 134 attempts at goal), which is the worst in the league, below Leeds (6.5pc) and Southampton (6.8pc). 

Seven is the same number of goals that Sheffield United had at the same stage last season – although the Blades only had one point, remaining bottom all season. 

On the other hand, Burnley only had eight goals after 13 games and ended up finishing 17th but 11 points clear of the bottom three thanks to a mid-season surge in form. 

As a further comparison, Norwich had 13 goals after 13 games two seasons ago and were a point and a place better off at this stage, after a 2-0 win at Everton, before falling apart during the second half of the pandemic-affected campaign. 

So far this season, Finland star Teemu Pukki has scored four of City's league goals, with Mathias Normann and defenders Grant Hanley and Andrew Omobamidele also on target.

Former Barcelona and Spurs striker Lineker simply finished by adding: “You’ve got to score goals, no question about that.” 

- You can watch Match of the Day on demand on the BBC iPlayer 

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