11:03 am 4 November 2022

11:45 a.m. November 4, 2022

Dean Smith had his say on some of the key issues ahead of Norwich City’s Championship game against Rotherham.

The Canaries boss held his pre-match press conference at Colney on Friday morning.

That’s what Smith had to say about the following.

Fitness updates:

(Are Sargent and Giannoulis fit?): They are both training with us today, so it should be possible that they are available for selection. Sarge is a definite yes. He is in no pain, has no symptoms and has only had a week off. He’s played the majority of the season, so he’s more than fit enough to play a game.

Dimi is the one we will have to look at. He has just come back from a long term injury, we will have to see where he is and where Sam (Byram) is also. If we feel Sam is slightly tired then we can favor Dimi or even Kenny (McLean) for that matter.

Jon Rowe’s progress:

This is a positive point. He hasn’t trained with us yet. He will probably train with us during the World Cup break. I also expect Adam Idah, Andrew Omobamidele and Lungi (Jacob Sorensen) to return to training during this international break as well. When we resume after the World Cup break, we should have a full squad, which is really nice.

(Any other concerns?): The only concerns are those who have been playing with a lack of preparation lately, so Sam McCallum, Isaac Hayden and Sam Byram as well. These are the only other concerns we will consider today.

Tim Krul got a brief glimpse after Dean Smith gave Angus Gunn a chance as a first-choice keeper.

Guardian Battle:

He was a bit unhappy that the results didn’t go his way, but I said at the start that we had two more than capable goalkeepers at this level and Tim was unhappy, but I felt that was the right time to give Angus his departure. And he did well.

(Has Krul responded to the ruling?): He is a great member of the team and the squad. I’ve always been honest in my conversations with players and given them my reasons, and they don’t always have to agree with them.

I am the one who decides to choose the team. I always thought that if you gave them your reasons, they should deal with it.

World Cup break plans:

After the game against Middlesbrough the guys will have a week off and then we will meet again for warm weather training. Then we will have 12 days of preparation for the Swansea game after the break.

We will probably have a friendly on the Saturday before playing Swansea and we are in the process of organizing it at the moment; that’s the only thing we’ll do.

We will review the season so far, what we have done and what we need to improve. I think everyone needs this break because the game period has been so busy. We couldn’t go too far on the training ground.

He was stuffed not only by the World Cup, but also by the death of Her Majesty, which cost us a weekend there. It was quite frenetic. Every Championship Manager will look forward to the break and reflect and revise.