Smith's pride at City's spirited 2-1 Everton win
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Dean Smith hailed his Norwich City players after they responded to his pre-match rallying call to beat Everton 2-1 in the Premier League at Carrow Road.
Adam Idah’s first top flight goal, after Michael Keane had earlier diverted Josh Sargent’s cross past Jordan Pickford, put the Canaries’ on the road to a vital win.
“Really proud of the players because they gave me everything in this game,” said Smith. “I said to them beforehand it is not the be all and end all game, but we are getting to that point. I said it was time for actions, not words.
"We wanted to get our fans behind us by producing a performance and showing that energy and verve. I thought we did that.
“At half-time I told them I felt Grant’s block in the first minute just lifted everybody. He put in a captain’s performance where others wanted to follow him. I felt we deserved to be leading.
"We had a bit of fortune with the own goal but when defenders are facing their own goal that can happen. It was a great ball from Sarge.
“Brandon (Williams) then showed what a great player he can be with the interception and run and I told Adam Idah I wanted him to follow up his positive performance on Wednesday with another and I felt he did that.”
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Smith confirmed Kenny McLean missed out as he was self-isolating but City also lost both Max Aarons and Williams in the closing stages.
Tim Krul headed straight down the tunnel at the final whistle clutching his right shoulder, while captain Hanley appeared to take another hit on the shoulder he injured against Manchester United prior to the festive period.
“Tim is the more worrying one because it was his shoulder,” said Smith, who takes his side to relegation rivals Watford next week. “We will have to wait 24 hours now before we get any update on that but he is a big player for us so we hope he comes through that. Max should be fine. He took a dead leg in the glutes area. Brandon had cramp in his calf
“Grant has had this shoulder issue and he is going to get some pain while he is coming through having the injections. We have one more big game at Watford before we can get some rest into him.
“Kenny is isolating so had to miss today. Billy Gilmour is back at the club and we hope a couple of weeks away and Mathias (Normann) two or three weeks as well. He is now running and pain free.”