The key quotes from Dean Smith's post-Tottenham Hotspur press conference
Photo by Getty Images/Mike Hewitt

Newly promoted Norwich City returned to the foot of the Premier League table on Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

The scoreline perhaps doesn't do justice to what was a very competent performance from the Canaries, and there was nothing they could have done about the opener as Lucas Moura powered home one of the goals of the season thus far. However Norwich let themselves down in both boxes, missing a handful of good chances at one end and letting in two further goals from Davinson Sanchez and Heung-min Son at the other.

Norwich head coach Dean Smith addressed the media after the match — here are his most noteworthy quotes.

On the pattern of the match

The instalment of Smith at the helm appears to have been a shrewd decision from the Norwich hierarchy — they had been in all of his three league matches prior to defeat here and, despite the result in North London, there were still positives to be found in the overall performance.

However, that simply served to make defeat all the more frustrating for Smith, who felt his side could have got something from the game whilst also admitting that the respective calibre of the two sets of players was likely the decisive factor on the day.

"I'm disappointed because I thought our performance deserved more," he argued. "We were in the game all the time. I was annoyed at the second goal — we have to defend set-pieces better — but they were more clinical than we were. I actually felt we were the better team in the first half, we had a couple of really good moments, but sometimes you just have to nod your head to quality."

On the goals

Norwich were unlucky to be on the receiving end of one of the best goals the Premier League has seen in a long while when Lucas danced through their defence and gave goalkeeper Tim Krul no chance with a suitably emphatic finish at the end of it.

It's an event which Smith and his players won't necessarily have been expecting to happen, but the head coach was pleased with how his side remained positive despite the early setback. Nonetheless, he warned that the second goal in particular made things needlessly difficult for the Canaries.

"He's a good player and sometimes they can do that, but we never let our heads drop," said Smith. "The performance is a step in the right direction, but we have to learn how to defend better, especially from set-pieces. If we hand't conceded that second goal I think we may have got something out of this."

On goalscoring woes

The shift to a five-at-the-back formation Adam Idah partner top scorer Teemu Pukki up front in a bid to have more of a recognisable goalscoring presence in the final third. The 20-year old had bright spells, but also missed one of the chances of the match when he skewed an effort wide from inside the box at 1-0.

"Idah's been short of game-time but he competed really well," said Smith. "He'll be disappointed with the big chance that came his way, we all thought it had gone in."

Norwich have scored just eight goals this season — by far the fewest in the league, the next being Burnley and Southampton with 14 each — and the Idah and Pukki partnership represents another attacking innovation which failed to bear fruits.

Smith is adamant that the forwards at his disposal are capable of increasing their output, but stressed that they must find a way to remove some of the burden from Pukki's shoulders — the Finnish international has scored 62.5% of Norwich's league goals this season.

"Our job is to make sure these players, who have got potential, start fulfilling it. The likes of Josh Sargent and Idah will have to start coming to the party; we can't be too reliant on Pukki."

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