'We will bring players of the right standard' - City boss on missing link

Dean Smith is hurting after Norwich City's Premier League relegation

Dean Smith is hurting after Norwich City's Premier League relegation - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Dean Smith is taking Norwich City’s relegation personally as he bids to shake his squad out of their comfort zone for the Championship return.  

Smith admitted he failed to deliver on the brief he was given to keep the Canaries in the top flight, but is up for the next challenge at Carrow Road.  

The City chief aims to attract players this summer with the competitive edge to raise the bar within his current squad.  

“We just haven’t had the legs in the team without the ball to get us those wins. We will bring players of the right standard, character and personality," he said. "We want a competitive environment. The players are aware how tough it will be. Our counter-pressing has been poor.

"The pace and speed Tottenham closed down was plain to see. When Tottenham’s third goal went in I saw some heads visibly drop, and the body language I didn’t like. It is not just me who sees it, it is 20,000 odd fans.  

“Ultimately it's been a failure because my job was to come in and keep us in the Premier League. So really disappointed that we haven't managed to do that. It is my first feeling of this. I don’t like it. I haven’t like it for four games.

"I feel for the supporters, but also feel for the staff and the players as well because as a collective, we haven't been good enough. So together we will come back fighting to get back to the Premier League.”  

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City’s squad is set to return for pre-season testing on June 24, and Smith insists there is grounds for optimism.  

“It's a really short break. And obviously we've got internationals away as well,” he said. “We know how hard the Championship is. We need the break, because it has been a poor season.  

“But there's been some good parts of it. The likes of the emergence of Jon Rowe, who probably nobody knew about six months ago, and Tony Springett as well have come in and made their debuts. Adam Idah got his first Premier League goal.

"We actually got out of the bottom three, and at the time I was told that was the first time in the Premier League for 500 days or something like that. But it's not been a great season. We all know that. Now we need to work hard to put it right.”