When news of Jonathan Rowe's England U21 squad withdrawal through injury, David Wagner must have been wondering what he had done to offend the footballing god so badly. 

Luck has been in short supply for the Norwich City head coach in terms of results, injuries and luck - in choppy waters, the hand has been dealt has been difficult. 

Yet, that doesn't excuse the underperformance and poor results in recent weeks, nor does it cover the deficiencies that have continued to persist with how Norwich have operated on the pitch, winning just twice in 11 matches. 

It will be a sense of 'when it rains, it pours' for the City chief - who himself has been desperately looking for solutions to the mountain of problems that have arrived in recent weeks. 

Injuries have been a factor - but there has been no player forced to play out of position regularly and Wagner has, barring central defence at Cardiff, had players in reserve in all areas of the pitch - albeit stretched at points. 

The search to solve how regularly they are exposed in defensive transitions is at the core of the problems. Wagner has tried to make alterations but, with the exception of the second half at Cardiff, has failed to see a flicker of light. 

All that pressure explains why Wagner cut such a relieved figure stood on the touchline in South Wales when answering questions after their 3-2 victory. 

In the short-term, it has offered the German some much-needed respite in terms of speculation over his job prospects - with new sporting director Ben Knapper continuing to assess City's footballing departments after joining the club officially on Monday. 

But with players like Angus Gunn and Ashley Barnes set for a return to action after the break - with club captain Grant Hanley not far behind, Wagner was likely thinking optimistically that the tide could be beginning to turn. 

Like many Norwich supporters, the sight of Rowe's Young Lions withdrawal would have caused alarm bells to ring - luckily, the reality looks significantly different. 

Fortunately, Rowe's injury doesn't look to be too severe - the hope is that he will be back and fit in time for QPR's visit to Carrow Road after the November international break. The injury sustained to his ankle/heel area is one that's been managed for a few weeks since before their Blackburn defeat. 

All sides see it as a precautionary measure - with Rowe now afforded time before the Championship restarts to get himself back up to full speed. 

The Pink Un: David Wagner is looking to catch a break at Norwich City. David Wagner is looking to catch a break at Norwich City. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

In a season that has been underpar so far - Rowe's emergence has been an almighty positive. The hope is that he continue to kick on as it progresses. 

Given he wasn't in Wagner's frontline thinking prior to pre-season, it symbolises how pivotal he has become to Norwich in the opening third of the campaign - where news of a potential injury is met with such concern and anxiety. That is a testament to his work. 

Norwich have a stable of wingers within their squad - six in total - but none possess the quality or attacking output that Rowe has documented so far. 

There's been a swagger to his game, even in low moments for the team as a collective. His superb goal against Middlesbrough was nothing but a footnote in a disappointing Carrow Road defeat, and his quality evident as he created Adam Idah's winner at Cardiff. 

Conversations around his contractual status continue - with Norwich hopeful that an agreement can be struck. Rowe is formally contracted to the club until the summer of 2025, but City hold an additional one-year option and are relaxed about the situation. 

Rowe has quickly become one of the first names on City's teamsheet - his story is made even sweeter by the fact he is an organic, academy-grown and young prospect. His journey will surpass Norfolk at some stage, but he has been a beckon of light in a difficult campaign. 

For the criticism levelled at Wagner - his system has been beneficial to Rowe. Time will tell whether that is a marker of his quality rather than the set-up. 

The Pink Un: Jonathan Rowe has become an integral part of Norwich City's side. Jonathan Rowe has become an integral part of Norwich City's side. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

If Wagner is to plot a way through his troubles at Norwich against the odds, then he will need to be in receipt of more lucky breaks. That will include Rowe and Gabriel Sara remaining fully fit as we hurtle towards a hectic Christmas schedule. 

That said, no coach can or will ever be free of injuries or adversities. Others in the Championship have dealt with them better than Norwich on the whole. 

Wagner will be hoping the international break provides an opportunity for a reset for his premiership. He will be desperately hoping that luck can play a part in his and Norwich's fortunes altering from here.