Norwich City 2-2 Birmingham: (4-2 pens) Dean Smith reaction

00:16 August 10, 2022

00:22 August 10, 2022

Dean Smith was confident Norwich City would prevail in a League Cup penalty shoot-out win over Birmingham City.

Only Kenny McLean missed the Carrow Road spot, after the Championship sides finished 2-2 on 90 minutes.

Angus Gunn made two saves before Josh Sargent sealed the club’s place in the second round.

Liam Gibbs, Danel Sinani and the cheeky “Panenka-style” chip of Marcelino Nunez completed the set.

“We had a debate on the side, because he took the Panenka in training and I was like, ‘No, he won’t do that anymore. I don’t know much,” Smith joked. “I’m not going to stop the South American flair, that’s for sure.

“I was confident because I saw the guys take them on Monday. Gunny made some good saves.

“Kenny will probably get a few ribs from the guys, but he wanted to take the first one and whoever took them on Monday was going to commit.

“Young Gibbo, in his early days, and I don’t like people taking a few steps forward, but I’ve seen him enough times and he’s got great ability.”

Smith admitted City worked hard for their first-round draw, after Sinani and Jacob Sorensen led them 2-0 at the break.

“Thrilled with the performance but disappointed with the way we let them back into the game because we were really comfortable,” he said. “A very good first half, played on the front foot and created chances.

“We probably took our toughest chance with Lungi’s (Jacob Sorensen) goal and deserved to be 2-0 down at half-time.

“I thought we had lost a bit of rhythm, maybe because of the substitutions, but we made a mistake and were punished.

“We’re getting back on track rather than committing and giving them a sniffle they shouldn’t have had. Then Onel (Hernandez) who I think had a good game, gave a soft free kick that they could put in a dangerous area with the big guns and from there a corner and they were lucky deflected JT (Jonathan Tomkinson) .

“But the mentality of the guys was to keep pushing, to keep looking for a winner and we deserved to go through.

“We made 10 changes and I told the players in advance that it could be considered one of two ways. Either this competition is not that important to us or there is an opportunity for a lot of players to claim their right and I thought a few of the guys did.

About James K. Bonnette

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