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No reason to panic, insists Norwich boss Dean Smith after Hull defeat

Norwich manager Dean Smith saw his side beaten by Hull (Richard Sellers/PA).
Norwich manager Dean Smith saw his side beaten by Hull (Richard Sellers/PA).

Dean Smith urged Norwich fans to stay calm following a 2-1 defeat at Hull.

The Canaries were pre-season favourites to return to the Premier League but have yet to win a game since their relegation to the Championship.

Imposing forward Oscar Estupinan did for the visitors with two tap-ins after 43 and 62 minutes.

Marcelino Nunez gave Norwich hope with a fine free-kick, but the Canaries only got going when it was too late and left East Yorkshire with much to work on.

Smith, whose players were jeered off by factions of the away support, said: “We dominated the game and gave away a calamitous (first) goal.

“It was certainly an eventful afternoon. For the last 20 minutes we were probably playing attack versus defence, but we were punished by giving away a stupid goal.

“We’re giving ourselves tough things to come back from with silly mistakes, but I don’t think after three games there’s any cause to panic.

“We should have won the game in the first 20 minutes – the chances we created and the players who they fell to.

“The currency is goals. We’ve got enough (goals) in our squad, but sometimes you get some strange results at this time of the season.”

Hull showed plenty of spirit, but Norwich ought to have taken an early lead following an all-action start.

Yet they were up against an inspired nemesis in goalkeeper Matt Ingram, who pulled off an outstanding double save to deny Nunez and Teemu Pukki after just five minutes.

But, once Ozan Tufan sparked Hull into life with a powerful 25th-minute hit that went just over the crossbar, the game changed.

Estupinan gave the Tigers the edge when he seized upon Max Aarons’ naive clearance that struck Andrew Omobamidele’s groin.

The Columbia international was ideally positioned and could not miss.

Norwich were surprisingly poor after the restart and lacked the physicality of Hull’s well-drilled midfield.

Estupinan was also a persistent threat and scored an easy second after Tufan’s corner caused deep consternation within Norwich’s shaky backline.

Smith can at least take solace from the response of his team, with Nunez’s 72nd-minute free-kick having given them hope.

Aaron Ramsey also spurned a glorious chance from Aaron’s perfect cross from the right five minutes later, with the Norwich substitute later denied by a clearance off the line by Jacob Greaves.

Smith said: “You can’t really legislate for their first goal.

“I thought we dominated the game and their goalkeeper’s made some good saves. AJ (Ramsey) has also had a good chance.

“We’ve got to cut out the mistakes that are giving the oppositions easy chances.

“It’s very frustrating. We’ve dominated all three games this season, but, unfortunately, at the moment, we haven’t scored enough goals.

“Hull are very fortunate to go away with a win.”

Counterpart Shota Arveladze accepted his side were up against it for long periods but was left to reflect upon a scoreline that put the Tigers top of the league.

He said: “I’m not saying this is the best game we’ve played but, strategically, we did very well.

“It’s not about respect (for Norwich) – we have been watching their games and we just didn’t want to give them time (on the ball).

“Maybe we started a bit too early to kill the game (after Nunez scored), but before that we had a really good game.”

Arveladze, who revealed the club are close to signing Birmingham midfielder Ryan Woods, added: “I think it’s a great start to the season.

“In some points they dominated, but not with really clear chances, they only had one clear chance in the second half.

“You have to accept they have a stronger squad. It’s a Premier League team.

“They dominated, definitely, but that’s why we played two different systems and it worked.”