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Dean Smith insists Norwich must focus on themselves rather than the table

Norwich head coach Dean Smith wants everyone focused on their own performances rather than continually dissecting the Premier League table in the battle for survival.

The Canaries had hauled themselves out of the relegation zone after successive wins over Everton and then rivals Watford before the winter break.

However, Smith’s side now find themselves bottom once again after Burnley suddenly found form, beating Tottenham 1-0 on Wednesday night to make it back-to-back victories.

Newcastle’s own recent three-game winning run lifted them up to 17th. Yet they along with the likes of Everton, Leeds and even Brentford – just four points clear of the drop zone – will be having an anxious glance over their shoulder.

Smith takes his side to Southampton on Friday night, when a positive result could crank up the pressure on their relegation rivals once again.

The Norwich head coach, though, does not intend to worry about whatever else might happen over the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.

“I was watching After Life on Netflix (on Wednesday night), so I did not really find out the (Burnley) result until later,” said Smith.

“We can’t concentrate on the table at the moment, we have just got to concentrate on results and on our performances.

“If we perform well, we have got a good chance of getting the results. If we perform to the standard we did against Liverpool, then it is going to be a real tight game and we can be close to getting a victory.”

Smith continued: “We have got a lot of big games coming up at Carrow Road against teams who are in and around us, so we know we have to win games to draw other teams in.

“Burnley have done that in the last couple of games and you have seen what has happened.

“We are not concentrating really on other results, we are just concentrating on ourselves and hopefully force some of those other teams in.”

Despite facing a battle to retain Premier League football, Smith is still relishing his own ‘After Life’ following dismissal by Aston Villa and swiftly taking up the Norwich job when Daniel Farke left Carrow Road in November.

“At the moment all of my energy is totally on trying to win the next game and improving. Wherever that takes us, it takes us,” Smith said.

“Obviously you have to plan for the future – you are looking at different scenarios in terms of pre-season because there are different start dates for the EFL and the Premier League, but my mindset is just concentrating on each game in the Premier League.”

Norwich will have goalkeeper Tim Krul available again following a shoulder injury for the trip to St Mary’s Stadium, where Smith is not expecting anything else other than another stern challenge.

“I would never underestimate the class and quality Southampton have got – and my players won’t either,” Smith said.

“Every Premier League game you go into is tough, and this one will be just as the last game was, even though it was against Liverpool.

“We have got to make sure that our performance levels are really high because that is the only way we can get victories.”

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