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Sunday, December 4, 2022
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Dean Smith has Work to do to get Norwich City Firing in the second Tier

There was an air of inevitability about Norwich City’s relegation from the Premier League last season. After the initial honeymoon period following Dean Smith’s arrival at Carrow Road in the autumn, results hit a downward spiral in the final months of the campaign, and by the end, Norwich was a long way off safety.

The new season brings a fresh start for the Canaries, and a chance to once again earn promotion and give the Premier League another crack. Smith’s side is considered one of the heavy favorites for promotion in the Championship betting with Betfair, mainly due to the fact that they have kept the bulk of last season’s squad together. 

However, things didn’t get off to a great start, as Norwich lost 1-0 to Cardiff City on the opening day of the Championship season. A disjointed performance saw the Canaries struggle to establish any kind of supremacy in the match, and Romaine Sawyer’s deflected effort was enough to give the home side all three points and leave Norwich heading for home empty-handed. 

It was strange to see Norwich lacking chemistry against Cardiff, especially when you consider that there haven’t been too many major departures from the first team this summer. If anything, it seemed as though there were still some lingering doubts after the disappointment of last season — Norwich didn’t look like a spritely outfit ready to give it everything in the Championship.

This is where Smith’s quality as a manager will be tested to the full. Picking a team up off the ground is not an easy task, and the 51-year-old will have to call on all his years of experience to get the best out of a Norwich side that is clearly still feeling the effects of last season’s relegation. 

Indiscipline played a part in the game against Cardiff, with captain Grant Hanley seeing red after picking up two yellow cards – both for incidents that could easily have been avoided. Anyone who thought that Norwich would flourish in the Championship this season from the very first whistle has been given a wake-up call, and it’s clear that there’s a lot of hard work needed if the Canaries are going to justify their status in the Championship score predictions.

“People will see that it was a committed group out there trying to win a football game,” Smith said of the match against Cardiff. “We lacked a little bit of quality in the final third, but it’s a hiccup, and next week we’re thankful to be at home and hopefully have the crowd behind us to go and get a victory.”

It may take a few weeks for Norwich to fully get into their stride this season, but you feel that they have enough quality to justify their credentials as one of the top picks for the title. Smith knows what it takes to win promotion from the second tier, having done so with Aston Villa in 2019, and it’s only a matter of time before he finds the winning formula at Carrow Road.

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