City boss Smith on Cantwell Newcastle United 'interest'

Norwich City's Todd Cantwell is being touted with Premier League rivals Newcastle United

Norwich City's Todd Cantwell is being touted with Premier League rivals Newcastle United - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Todd Cantwell has a job to do for Norwich City in the view of Dean Smith, whatever the future holds in the January transfer window. 

Smith played down reports Newcastle United are poised to firm up their interest, but accepts speculation is inevitable around the midfielder. 

City would need to sell to generate funds to bolster Smith’s squad, and the Canaries are believed to be willing to sanction Cantwell’s departure at the right price.  

“I haven't sat down with Todd and spoke about this at all,” said Smith, speaking on Friday morning at Colney. “All I've spoken about is trying to get his head in a good place, build his confidence up and give him the ideas of what I see in him and what he can bring to this team.  

“The speculation I can't control. Stuart (Webber) will have had a chat with his representatives and got their thoughts. At the moment, I'm not privy to that. I just want to concentrate on building him up as a player again.  

“I know there's an awful lot of speculation about Todd at the moment. There always is around good players. He's been in a situation where we first arrived he hadn’t been training in the first team for quite a while, so we had to build up his fitness. He's in a good place now. He's in contention to play on Sunday. I don't deal with the speculation, Stuart has to handle that side.  

“I don't know is the honest answer. Hopefully, he’ll be here still and playing well, because that's what we want from him. We know what he can do at this level, and we're working on him to get him back to that level.  

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“I have no idea (if there have been approaches). I've had a chat with Stuart in terms of the general window and we're looking at all options. As any club should be. But we could have the best window out of everybody if we get the 10 players back who have been missing for the last three or four games without actually spending any money.

"It's an over-inflated window, as we all know, and it's a very difficult window. We're working out our options. 

"It's been frustrating for us and for Todd as well. He wasn't up to speed in the first game I had here. Then he played against Aston Villa and probably wasn't up to speed for that game either.

"He's certainly getting there. He's worked hard in training and we've had no problems with him in terms of attitude and application. We all know what a good player he is.  

“It's been frustrating for all parties that he's not been in peak condition to really go and show us what he’s about. Now it's about conditioning. It's about building up his confidence as well, because I think that had taken a hit a little bit as well. But certainly there is a talented footballer there.”