Canary midfield man Stephen Hughes believes that the size and strength of City’s squad is playing a huge part in the club’s challenge for automatic promotion from League One.
The classy Scot, who has been unlucky to find himself on the fringes in 2009/10, made another significant impact from the bench when he crossed for Chris Martin to head home against Leeds last weekend.
And with an injury doubt hanging over Korey Smith, Hughes may well get a rare start this evening as City aim to take another big step to promotion at Tranmere.
But while the former Leicester and Motherwell man admitted his frustration at having to play second fiddle to the likes of Smith, Darel Russell and Simon Lappin, he agreed that you need to have a powerful group to compete for honours.
“If you look at the squad, there are good quality players who can’t even get on the bench. Everybody is fighting to get in the first XI and that keeps the people who are in there on their toes.
“It’s a long season and if you look at it, the squad has been used quite a lot. Everybody has to play their part – that’s what we’re here to do.
“I’m frustrated like everyone else who isn’t playing. But the starting XI have been playing most weeks and have been playing consistently well.
“The people on the sidelines like myself have to be patient. It’s frustrating but you just need to wait for your chance and hopefully it will come sooner or later. It’s good to still be involved but every player wants to play as much as they can.
“If I get a chance [against Tranmere] it’s obviously down to me to take it. But we’ll need to wait and see, there are a lot of ifs and buts but I’m ready and willing to go.”
His second-half introduction against the Whites last Saturday paid dividends with that stunning ball to goal hero Martin and as a result, the Canaries now enjoy an 11 point lead at the top.
Some Bookmakers have even put the ‘All bets are off!’ sign on the door regarding City’s promotion back to the Championship. But Hughes insists that it’s not over until it’s over, with another important clash in front of the Sky cameras this evening.
“I was happy to come on and contribute against Leeds but the most important thing was for us to get the three points.
“It’s not wrapped up until it’s mathematically impossible [for other teams to catch Norwich] – we just need to keep going and keep winning. There are a lot of hard games coming up and we need to take each game at a time.
“We’re in a great position but we’ve not won anything yet. We’ve got to keep going, keep our heads down and try and win more games.
“We’ve got a busy weekend ahead of us and a couple of massive games so we’ll go into it trying to win them both of course.
“But we’ll look forward to the game at Tranmere first and foremost and it will be a difficult match as they are fighting for their lives.
“There are no easy games in this division. Everybody is playing for something, whether it’s to avoid relegation or trying to get in the play-offs. As I said, it will be a difficult game but we’re going up there with confidence.”