City boss Chris Hughton offered the tantalising prospect of another foray into the transfer market following this weekend’s 2-0 home defeat by Borussia Monchengladbach.
With the start of the new Premier League season now less than a week away and with just three left before the summer transfer window slams shut on the new Canary chief, time is not on his side – certainly in terms of comfortably bedding a fresh face or two into his squad before the going gets serious.
That said, Hughton gave every impression of wanting to strengthen again after Norwich’s final dress rehearsal ended on something of a low note with a comfortable defeat by the visiting Bundesliga side.
“We’re working very hard on that front,” said Hughton, quizzed as to whether he still hoped to add fresh bodies to his armoury.
It remains a tough market-place; thus far, there hasn’t been a glut of movement.
Equally, there was a sense from Hughton that players and their agents now expected more of Norwich; there’s a price to be paid for being an ‘established’ Premier League side. Almost.
“I think the fact that it is our second season in the Premier League, it does get tougher – certainly if you try and bring in players that are going to be competitive for us.
“But we are working very, very hard on that behind the scenes.”
And it’s players coming in, not going out in the manner of a Daniel Ayala or an Andrews Crofts.
“What’s more important is more competition in the squad, so we are working very hard on ins, not outs,” stressed Hughton.
Full-back might be one area that needs further consideration – simply in terms of depth of cover for Russell Martin on the right and Marc Tierney on the left. The absence of the injured Steven Whittaker could be keenly felt should anything untoward happen to the two men in possession.
Ryan Bennett and Michael Turner look to be penned in as his starting centre-halves; whether the ex-Newcastle manager would seek to exploit his numerous contacts in the game to find a young loan or two to fill in around the edges is the interesting point.
The other issue for Hughton and his coaching team to ponder ahead of the opening trip to Craven Cottage next Saturday is how well – or otherwise – dropping Robert Snodgrass into the hole off Grant Holt works. Or whether that role could be better filled by a James Vaughan or, indeed, eventually a Jacob Butterfield.
Both players had big chances to level for the hosts; both chances went begging as Norwich’s fortunes in front of goal continued to flat-line; both could, naturally, be keeping much in reserve for Fulham (a).
“For as well as you want to do, it’s about creating chances,” said Hughton, convinced that on other weekends both Snodgrass and skipper Holt would have buried the opportunities that presented themselves either side of the interval.
“You can go from one week to another where you will score a couple of fortuitous goals – and that gives everybody a lift.
“And for those two chances we’re as capable of putting both of them right and scoring both of them. But it’s always a concern when you’re not scoring goals and it’s one that we will have to address because that’s the way that you win football matches.”
Overall, however, he remained content as show-time neared.
“It’s been a good pre-season for us – we like to think that we’ve done enough right,” said the Canary chief. “But, of course, its all about next week and the week after and so on. That’s where the real judge is.”