Smith braced for a late transfer window twist

Injured Norwich City defender Dimitris Giannoulis must settle for a watching brief over the coming weeks

Injured Norwich City defender Dimitris Giannoulis must settle for a watching brief over the coming weeks - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Dean Smith will not be forced into a panic buy after Norwich City’s left back curse struck again, with Sam McCallum ruled out until December following foot surgery. 

First choice Dimi Giannoulis is out for two months  due to the ankle ligament damage suffered in the opening Championship home game against Wigan. 

Now back-up McCallum has been sidelined with a broken foot injured in the midweek League Cup penalty shoot out success against Birmingham. 

Jacob Sorensen will deputise in the Championship at Hull on Saturday, with Sam Byram poised to return next week from a thigh issue.

Smith was happy with the current make up of his squad going into the new season, but has now lost two left backs inside the first two weeks. 

“We're top heavy at the top of the pitch at the moment, but with the injuries to two left backs, it leaves us a little bit light,” he said. “It was pleasing that Jon Tomkinson came in and did well the other night, which gives us four centre halves and hopefully Sam getting back to full fitness as well.

"But two left backs getting injured leaves us a little bit light in that area. 

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"I'm quite happy with the players that we've got in the squad. We've got enough depth there now. As I said the other day having them in the stand, for me, is not a problem. There has been a lot of outs already, and you can never say never between now and the end of the window.

"If players don't get into the squad come the end of August then they might be knocking on my door and asking whether they can go out.” 

Norwich have brought in four midfielders this summer with Marcelino Nunez, Gabriel Sara and Aaron Ramsey all making debuts over the past week.

Smith did admit on Friday City’s relentless game cycle, at the start of the new campaign, presents a challenge to assimilate his new faces into the squad. 

“You're pretty much managing from game to game in that regard,” he said. “There isn't a huge amount of time to work on the training pitch. But we've got a programme for the ones who don't play to make sure they work hard enough.

"We had a full training session on the pitch straight after the Wigan game to make sure when they came back in on the Sunday, they were all at the same level again.  

“Between the coaching staff and the performance team we're getting them right to be playing games. The great thing about getting through to the next round of the cup the other night is there's another game as well to make sure they maintain their fitness standards.” 

One area where Norwich’s enviable depth could be a huge advantage is Smith's ability to make five changes per game, with an expanded number of substitutions permitted this season. 

“It's certainly helpful. It allows you to alter the flow of the game a lot more,” he said. “It probably upsets the rhythm in the second half, when both teams can make that amount.

"There could be six stoppages and 10 different players coming on the pitch, but certainly with the quality that we believe we've got in the squad, we can change the game with our substitutes.  

“It will help our game management and my game management. I go on the feel I have for the game rather than what he opposition are trying to do.

"Whether we're in control, whether we need to add more control, add more goals or whatever the stage of the game is.” 

Todd Cantwell is back in the mix for Hull after sitting out the Birmingham game to rest an ankle issue

Todd Cantwell is back in the mix for Hull after sitting out the Birmingham game to rest an ankle issue - Credit: Focus Images Ltd

Norwich’s trip to Humberside brings them into contact with yet another former Premier League club striving to get back to the big time. 

“They're trying to get back on that roller coaster ride,” said Smith. “The clubs and the players who have had a taste of it know what it feels like and want more. You go from playing at Anfield and the Etihad and, no disrespect to any teams in the Championship, but it's not the same. You want to get back there.

"They brought in a lot of new signings, I think I saw nine new players this season so it is very much a changed squad.  

“They’ve had a good start to the season, they got the win against Bristol City and a draw against Preston. I thought they were slightly fortunate to get a penalty against Bristol City, and Nigel Pearson certainly felt so as well.

"But it is another game where for the most part we concentrate on us. If we put in the sort of performance we know we can then we can go and get all three points.”