The last one doesn’t give you the next one
Burnley will come up against Dean Smith tomorrow for the first time since he took over as manager of Norwich last November just days after he’d lost his job at Aston Villa.
It was at Brentford where we first encountered Smith back in January 2016 as we were heading for the Championship title and a return to the Premier League but tomorrow we face him as we continue the battle to stay in.
Smith’s Norwich are currently bottom and ahead of the game he first spoke about our win against Everton. Smith said: “It was what I expected. They’re scrapping for every point and they’ve been in this situation many times and Sean has got them out of it many times as well. It was a performance that I expected in conditions that weren’t really an April game, but they got a well deserved win on the night.”
“It’s a game that we’ve got to be really good in. Whatever will be will be. We’ve got to go and try to win the game and we will do, but we have to be better than we have been over recent weeks and I’m sure we will be.
“We’re putting them into situations in training where they have to make good decisions. The more repetitive that can be, the more likely they’re going to do it on a matchday. I’ve always said that confidence is a big thing in football. I think the point at Brighton, not the performance but the point, and the results, I don’t need to tell the players how big the game is. I think that will help the confidence in itself.”
Turning to Burnley again, he said: “Sean has done brilliantly at Burnley. You can’t question the success they’ve had there to be in the Premier League for so long. They went down once and came straight back up and to keep a team with the financial limits that they have in the league has been brilliant.”
Sean Dyche returned to the strong jaw after the win against Everton. Speaking yesterday, he said: “We’ve shown we have a strong jaw over many seasons in the Premier League, we’ve shown we can handle situations, we’ve shown we can deliver. But just because you show it, it doesn’t guarantee the next one, you have to keep showing it.
“You have to keep maintaining high standards in training and high focus when you go out on the pitch. That’s the demand of the job. We have got a pretty rounded group here, so they understand it, and these are helpful things, but they don’t guarantee anything, you have to go out and deliver.
“These are tough games. It’s doing the hard graft, the miles, the details, putting in the mental and prep effort, players giving up a lot at this time of the season to zone in and give everything to the cause.
“We do have experience of that, of tough times and how to handle that, but it doesn’t define the whole season just because you’ve got experience, it’s about going out there and delivering performances every time the whistle blows.
“It was a tight one the other night, we got on the right side of it, showed a really solid mentality, and that’s got to be the same for the remaining nine games. The last one doesn’t give you the next one, so we’ve got to go down to Norwich and perform well again, and actually add to a performance the details I think are relevant.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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