Smith is keen to remain with City

CHRIS LAKEY Jimmy Smith could extend his Norwich City loan spell into the new year - even though it could cost him his place in Chelsea's star-studded line-up.The 20-year-old is due to return to Stamford Bridge next month, just in time to cover for the expected exodus of players involved in the African Nations Cup.

CHRIS LAKEY

Jimmy Smith could extend his Norwich City loan spell into the new year - even though it could cost him his place in Chelsea's star-studded line-up.

The 20-year-old is due to return to Stamford Bridge next month, just in time to cover for the expected exodus of players involved in the African Nations Cup.

Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel are all expected to head for Ghana in January, leaving some appetising spaces in the Chelsea squad to be filled.


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But Smith could be ready to commit himself to Norwich and gain more first team experience - even though it could mean a second relegation scrap in two years.

"I'm meant to be going back at Christmas because of the African Nations Cup, but who knows what will happen?" he said.

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"I think Norwich is a great club and it's a big club. You get 24,000 fans every week and you can't ask for more than running out in front of that every week.

"I would like to stay longer, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

"They are great loyal fans and we need to repay them by winning games, because that's what they need. I think the manager will be looking to bring in more players. He's seen what he's got at the club now and it's down to him what he does with it. Either bring new players in or change things around with the players at the club."

Smith helped Queens Park Rangers escape the drop last season, scoring half a dozen goals during a loan spell that saw the London side climb up the table and finish four places above the relegation zone.

City currently occupy bottom spot after a run of 11 games without a win and are in desperate need of a similar flourish of form.

"It's not very good," admitted Smith. "I was in the same situation last year when I was with QPR and hopefully we can get out of it as soon as possible because with the players we've got at this club we don't deserve to be where we are.

"But it's down to what we do when we cross that white line and we all know that we need to improve that."

The key to turning it around could, says Smith, be simple.

"Just belief, really," said Smith, who has started just two games for City after his full debut was delayed by an ankle ligament injury sustained on the pre-season tour of Holland. "That and team spirit and the willingness to know that we can do it.

"QPR were in the bottom three towards the end of the season and they tried to get out of it and eventually they did. Hopefully we can correct it before Christmas and get on a good run and push ourselves up the table.

"I think a win will just do it really. We've been saying if we can get a win under our belts we can build on it from there.

"But it's got to come soon because we want it so badly."

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