Dean Smith's reign as Norwich City head coach has been full of scepticism from Canaries fans, from tactical setup to media handling.

One such example of this scepticism was the reaction to Smith's final signing of the summer transfer window. While the use of Smith's name in relation to transfers would usually be reductive - sporting director Stuart Webber is the real head honcho in that department - this was one based significantly on the 51-year-old's own knowledge.

Aaron Ramsey arrived at Carrow Road with only a mixed loan spell at Cheltenham to boast, where League One mediocracy defined his side and varying game time defined himself.

That was the evidence on which Norwich fans based the theory that Ramsey's parent club Aston Villa were profiting more than their club. Smith's lack of success at the time of signing Ramsey was the backdrop that allowed his knowledge of the 19-year-old to be dismissed out of hand, his time at Villa Park used as a stick to beat the transfer as opposed to a positive.

In fairness to the former Walsall boss, this was a call he got spot on.

After a false start to life at Carrow Road - his glaring miss at Hull was a nightmare debut in a frustrating defeat - Ramsey's guile and creativity were refreshing components in a stale outfit.

After three fruitless and winless efforts to create chances, he offered a genuine semblance of spark, a command of the secret ingredients required to find space in the opposition box.

That quality first tangibly reared its head in the 1-0 win at Sunderland in August, when Ramsey's fine assist for Josh Sargent helped rescue the momentum that had been hanging by a thread and, in all likelihood, is what leaves the Canaries in a near-acceptable position at this juncture.

The following performance on his return to Birmingham to face Villa's arch rivals City was underwhelming, but the positive strides made thereafter were undeniable.

His assist in the 3-0 win over Coventry, once again for Sargent, showed a poise and unselfishness rarely associated with players of his age and inexperience. His pass through for Teemu Pukki against Bristol City displayed similar qualities four days later.

The lack of a goal contribution in the ensuing seven games was both disappointing and indicative of Ramsey's importance to the side, with Norwich dropping 15 of 21 available points as his influence waned.

He returned to the side as a reaction to the drab 1-0 loss to Burnley, and relieved a significant weight from his shoulders.

The English youth international and his boss had been keen for him to break the goalscoring duck, and the midfielder's admission that he had "flashbacks" from that Hull miss as he tapped home against Stoke showed the extent to which he felt the burden.

The fact that he scored again later in the afternoon perhaps displayed what he could achieve with confidence, and a poached finish against Rotherham a week after that hinted at another purple patch.

Unfortunately for Ramsey, then came the World Cup break.

Even despite his best efforts as perhaps the only acceptable performance on the day, City cowered into the break with a 2-1 home defeat to Middlesbrough, and with it disappeared any momentum their now-regular starter was building.

The break appears to have come at a good time for the team and club as a whole, but Ramsey will be frustrated at the abrupt halt to his incline. City fans will hope he's retained the confidence he took into the hiatus, and is ready to unleash it in South Wales on Saturday.

The idea that this would be the feeling around a player with just one League One goal to his name would have surprised many in summer, but that's a fact that will please Ramsey after a promising start to his time in Norfolk.