City skipper keen to help lead Championship recovery as he targets injury return

Grant Hanley watched Norwich City's extra-time defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-fin

Grant Hanley watched Norwich City's extra-time defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals alongside sporting director Stuart Webber at Carrow Road Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City skipper Grant Hanley is hopeful he won’t miss too much of next season, after surgery on his hamstring injury.

The Scotland international centre-back had been in strong form before the season was suspended, after bouncing back from groin and hernia surgery which saw him miss almost three months of the first half of the campaign.

However, he strained his hamstring in a friendly at Tottenham prior to the season resuming in June and needed surgery which left him on crutches for around a month, ruling him out of City’s final 10 games.

“The surgery went well so I’m happy with that. I’ve got to be cautious over the next few weeks. I’d like to hope I could return not too far past the start of next season,” Hanley explained, with the Championship expected to start in mid-September.

“I’ve had a couple of injuries this season. It’s frustrating as a player because you want to be playing. We felt like we had a chance to put a run of wins together after the restart, so it’s disappointing.”

With Christoph Zimmermann also injured, that left Timm Klose in at the deep end as he came back from a long-term knee injury and the Canaries have lost all nine of their games since the restart.

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The Scot is keen to show leadership during these tough times though, continuing: “The dressing room is so young and, as one of the senior players, I feel I can affect that and help.

“For a lot of the lads, they were winning most weeks in the Championship then came to the Premier League and didn’t get the results we wanted. It’s important to make sure they’re mentally in the right place because it will be a quick turnaround for next season.”

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The final day of the season takes the relegated Canaries on a difficult trip to Manchester City on Sunday and then it’s full steam ahead with preparations for the Championship.

Speaking to City’s website, Hanley added: “It’s difficult to go from being the underdogs and not getting results every week to having the pressure back on you again and everybody expecting results. We need to start preparation now for next season.

“The players need to remember that they owe the club so much for giving them a chance to play on this stage.”

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