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Dean Smith hopes getting small details right can make big difference for Norwich

Norwich City Training Session – Lotus Training Centre – Thursday 18th November
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Norwich head coach Dean Smith hopes getting the small details right could just make the biggest difference as his side battle to keep their fading Premier League dream alive.

The Canaries host relegation rivals Burnley on Sunday and face a side out to take momentum from their late midweek win over Everton.

Norwich are bottom of the table, seven points from safety and have played more games than both the Clarets and Toffees, who sit 17th.

Last weekend’s rather fortuitous goalless draw at Brighton – where the hosts missed a penalty as well as numerous other clear chances – stopped a run of six straights league defeats.

Smith and assistant Craig Shakespeare have been drilling the squad on facing up to key choices at crucial moments which could prove pivotal.

“We are putting them into situations in training where they have to make good decisions,” Smith said.

“The more repetitive that can be in making good decisions, then the more likely they are going to do it on a matchday.

“I have always said that confidence is a big thing in football. I think the point at Brighton – not the performance, but the point – and the result (helps).

“I don’t need to tell the players how big the (Burnley) game is. I think that will help the confidence in itself.”

Smith, though, knows everything will be down to the players to deliver the required performance levels when it counts.

“It is a game that we have got to be really good in,” the Norwich boss told a press conference.

“We have got to try to go and win the game – and we will do, but we have to be better than we have been over recent weeks.

“We want to get back to being a hard-to-beat team and we have lost our way in that a little bit.”

Smith added: “The players know how much it means – I have never been relegated in my managerial career and I want that to continue.

“I know it is going to be tough (to stay up), but we are certainly going to be battling every step of the way.”

Burnley have continued to upset the odds to establish themselves back in the top flight.

While that hard-earned status may be under severe threat this season, Smith is full of admiration for the efforts from manager Sean Dyche.

“Sean has done brilliantly at Burnley. You can’t question the success they have had there to be in the Premier League for so long,” said Smith, who took up the Carrow Road job in November shortly after departing Aston Villa.

“They went down once and came straight back up. To keep a team, with the financial limits that they have at Burnley, in the league has been brilliant.

“They are a really competitive team with good players, so we have to be at our best.

“They will be fighting to stay in this league like we will.”

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