Borja Sainz needs to get down and dirty to help lead Norwich City’s Championship charge.

The 22-year-old’s stunning strike sunk Coventry City at the weekend, and made it six goal contributions from 21 league appearances after an injury-hit start to his debut campaign.

But for David Wagner, Sainz has now proven he can also handle the rough and tumble of the English second tier following his free transfer summer switch from Turkey.

“He has already shown that he can score goals like that one, and he has done it again, but what I really loved was the shift he put in defensively,” said the City boss. “He worked unbelievably hard. There was one situation in the first half when he celebrated himself when he won a throw in.

"This is exactly what I really love in his game; to work for your team and to make the dirty yards as well. And this is very rare that you find an offensive player who is open to do this. He does not love it. But he learns it and he does it more and more.

“He's a very important player for us. He has to work hard, we will work hard with him, to push him to his highest level consistently. He was one of a few guys, important players for us, who were injured this season.

“We are happy to have him on a good fitness level, healthy, so that he can help us to push and to take it game by game, starting with the next one which is QPR away.”

Sainz is now a regular Championship starter, but Wagner is also quick to highlight the impact from the bench in a bright start to 2024 for the Canaries.

“In recent weeks it was more or less all the games where the players who came from the bench made an impact,” he said. “This is exactly how it should be. This is exactly what we always said when it comes to a competitive squad to try and win football matches. We have that now even if some players are still not on their highest fitness level.

"Plus we’ve been without Jonny Rowe, our top scorer, and that is something you can deal with for one or two games. Barnesy (Ashley Barnes) was top class (against Coventry), like the other guys as well, when they came on.”