‘There’d be something wrong if I walked straight back in’ – Hanley knows the Norwich City task ahead

Grant Hanley heads for goal during Norwich City's home defeat to Leeds back in August. A lot has changed since then. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Grant Hanley heads for goal during Norwich City's home defeat to Leeds back in August. A lot has changed since then. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Grant Hanley knows the size of the task he now faces to get a Norwich City recall – and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Canaries captain has endured an injury-hit season so far, starting in the summer and added to by a thigh injury that has ruled him out since the 1-1 draw at Ipswich in early September.

Since then City have risen to the summit of the Championship, while Hanley has signed a new long-term contract at Carrow Road.

He is back fit and available too having spent last week with his team-mates on City’s warm-weather training camp in Tampa Bay, Florida. Now it’s just a case of when Hanley’s return arrives.

“I do try to stay part of it as much as I can,” admitted Hanley. “It’s hard really when you’re not playing but I still like to be around the dressing room before the game, half-time or after if I feel like I’ve got something to say.

Christoph Zimmermann (left), Ben Godfrey and Timm Klose (back) have more than held the fort of Norwich City's centre-back positions in Grant Hanley's absence. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesChristoph Zimmermann (left), Ben Godfrey and Timm Klose (back) have more than held the fort of Norwich City's centre-back positions in Grant Hanley's absence. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“But the lads have been outstanding. Timm (Klose) and Christoph (Zimmermann) have been first class and thoroughly deserved it. We’re absolutely flying in the league table because we’ve been solid.

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“And that’s the whole team to be honest. It’s no fluke that we’re up there – it’s deserved – but that’s the nature of it and I think the squad is looking really good.

“There are a lot of players who aren’t playing who are desperate to get in the team, and the lads who are in the team know they need to keep going or the changes will be made.

“That’s healthy. There would be something wrong if I walked straight back into the team, so it’s brilliant the lads are pulling in the same direction and I’m really pleased for the lads who are in the same position as me, doing so well.”

City return to action at Swansea on Saturday before a trip to Hull four days later, when they will look to build on their stunning recent form.

Hanley added: “That’s probably what’s made it even more frustrating, in terms of the lads winning – you want to be part of that, you want to be on the pitch when you’re picking up all these points.

“But maybe that drives you on to come back in the best possible shape that you can to try and get out there again.”

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