Martin Smith

Smith Says...

by Martin Smith

'Son of Pele' previews Sunday's game.

It’s off to Norwich this weekend and there’s a couple of familiar faces there for me.

I played with Steve Morison and Bradley Johnson at Northampton and it’s great to see them doing well in the top flight.

They are proof to players in the lower leagues that if you work hard you have a chance of making your way up and that clubs can still pick up gems.

Both Steve and Bradley are nice lads who’ve never changed. When Steve left Northampton he actually went to work for his dad, so it’s been a great rise for him back up the leagues.

Now he’s a full Wales international who is playing in the Barclays Premier League. That gives hope to other players and it's great to see.

When lads get rejected or come up through the divisions it makes them really appreciate that chance at the top and both of them have worked hard.

Norwich have been going well and that’s been borne out in their results. Since they lost at Chelsea their form has been phenomenal.

You wouldn’t have thought that after their start but if you string a couple of results together things can snowball.

Paul Lambert did fantastically well to put everything in place down there and Chris Hughton has carried that on.

From Sunderland’s perspective it’s a case of doing the basics right and the rest will follow. We’ve certainly looked more like scoring goals of late.

You don’t want to go to an away ground and concede early goals, putting you straight on the back foot.

We need to set our stall out – not in a defensive or negative way, just recognising that we will probably have to do some defending early on.

We like playing on the counter-attack and there’s no reason why we can’t go there and get a result. If we do the basics well, then we’ve always got a chance.