“Craig Shakespeare has also come in so it’s been top marks from a coaching setup and, also, when you bring players in and get the signings right. So, going from the worst (defensive record) in Europe to the best in Europe, I think that’s what we’ve been seeing.”

The Aston Villa coaching alumni have a challenge on their hands when it comes to the project at Norwich City and it won’t be easy to prevent relegation. The Canaries have just one win from eleven and currently sit at the bottom of the Premier League table with only five points from a potential 33, five points adrift from safety.

That said, Shakespeare and Smith certainly have the credentials, experience and resources in hungry young players like Todd Cantwell and Billy Gilmour at Norwich, to give the relegation battle a good shot and if appointed, will host Southampton at Carrow Road this weekend.

In other news: ‘World class’ Billy Gilmour can save Norwich from relegation…