Dean Smith admits his job at Norwich City is about to get even tougher with the return of key players.

The likes of Dimi Giannoulis and Isaac Hayden are set to be available the other side of the international break, for a congested October swing prior to a month-long pause for the World Cup in November.

Smith recently highlighted the cut throat competition that had kept big money summer signing Gabby Sara out of his starting line up, and seen Todd Cantwell and Danel Sinani drop out.

But the City head coach is prepared to upset his squad in pursuit of the big prize.

“It is part and parcel of the job. And a really important one,” he said. “I've always said to people the easiest players to look after are the ones who are starting.

"The ones who you have to spend more time with tend to be the others. You can spot the starters because they are the ones walking around with smiles on the faces.

“We've got a really competitive group here. At the moment because we're winning games they can understand my reason for why I'm picking a team.

"If we're not winning, and I'm still picking the same team then they've got every right to bang my door down. Then you want to give them the reasons why they've not started, and what they need to do to get into the team.”

Smith faces an anxious few days with his internationals scattered far and wide, and centre back duo Andrew Omobamidele (groin) and Grant Hanley (shoulder) remaining in Norfolk for further assessment.

Norwich resume their Championship quest at Blackpool looking to pick up the pace after a below-par 1-1 draw against West Brom.

“It is a bit nervous with players going away but we also have one or two coming back to the group, like Isaac Hayden,” said Smith. “That is important. The key thing, if we can, is to get some rest and recovery into the players and then we start preparing again for Blackpool.

“I have been around football long enough to know that you are not just going to beat a side like West Brom 3-0, 4-0. It is never going to happen.

"They were in the Premier League themselves a couple of years ago and they have a good manager and good coaches. Those games are always going to be tough, but we know we can be better and we will be.

“Our job is to keep developing. We are unbeaten at home and as long as we keep learning from where we don’t do quite as well, and put it right, then I am sure we will do that.”