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Dean Smith pleased to maintain momentum after Norwich see off Coventry

Norwich City v Coventry City – Sky Bet Championship – Carrow Road
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Head coach Dean Smith felt Norwich were good value for their 3-0 victory over Coventry as his side made it five straight Championship wins which took them to the summit.

The Canaries will lose top spot if Sheffield United win at Hull on Sunday but that took none of the gloss off the result for Smith after goals from Teemu Pukki, Josh Sargent and Kieran Dowell.

He said: “It’s never easy to win five games on the trot in any league, let alone this one, so obviously I am very pleased with result.

“It keeps the momentum going, which is important, ahead of another tough game at Burnley next week.

“I was delighted with the performance, especially in the first half when some of our movement was excellent and we scored two well-worked goals.

“Everyone played they part and they seemed to be enjoying themselves out there as well which you always want to see.

“Coventry made it difficult for us, which I knew they would, but we should really have had it wrapped up at half-time.

“I thought we let our standards drop for 10 or 20 minutes in the second half but then the substitutes came on and gave us a lift and gave the crowd a lift too.

“That’s what you need, good players challenging for a place in the side and coming off the bench and making an impact.”

Norwich, who were bottom of the table after three games, took just 14 minutes to get their noses in front, with their visitors providing a big helping hand.

Gustavo Hamer was dispossessed as he attempted to take the ball past Marcelino Nunez in a dangerous central area and the Chilean threaded the ball through for Pukki to slide past keeper Ben Wilson.

Kyle McFadzean thought he had levelled after 33 minutes when he blasted home a loose ball from a corner but colleague Tyler Walker, who had challenged keeper Tim Krul and was standing near him when the ball went in, was penalised for offside and the home side doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time.

More poor defending allowed Pukki to break down the left and he fed the ball inside for Aaron Ramsey who promptly laid it on a plate for Sargent.

The points were wrapped in the 81st minute with another straightforward close-range finish from substitute Dowell after Sargent had set him up.

Coventry manager Mark Robins felt the decision to disallow McFadzean’s effort was harsh but had no complaints with the result.

He said: “We were up against a very good Norwich side who deserved their win.

“It’s just a shame we didn’t execute our game plan as well as we should have and made a number of poor decisions that let them in.

“For the first there was an attempted nutmeg and then Pukki is in the clear and a good player like him will gobble up a chance like that. We also got caught too far up the pitch for the second which was disappointing.

“I thought the disallowed goal was harsh but I am not going to go on about that too much after just being beaten 3-0 by a very good team.

“It has been a tough start to the season, with all manner of things thrown at us and leaving us playing catch-up, but we have just got to work hard to turn it around.”

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