Byram's a future Canaries captain - Smith
- Credit: Daniel Hambury/Focus Images Ltd
Sam Byram has been tagged as a future Norwich City captain by Dean Smith.
The defender has come through a tough two years where appearances have been limited by injury.
But the 28-year-old has returned to the fold in some style, slotting seamlessly into a central defensive role having been shifted across from right back.
Defensive frailties have been an unwanted feature of City’s dismal season, but with Smith looking for the right characters to rebuild for the Championship challenge ahead, Byram is clearly ‘in the good books’.
“We’ve lost both games (with him at centre back), conceded goals, but I've actually thought he's been one of our better performers,” said Smith ahead of City’s trip to Leicester.
“He's a good player. I mean, he's future captain material for me. He's such a good lad around the place.
“Professional, good players can play in many different positions, and I think he's proven that already. He's put his injury problems behind him now.
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“Hopefully we can get to see some of the best of him now for the future. He can play there. I think people at the football club know he can play right back and left back, but he can play anywhere along the back line for me. I think he's proven that in recent performances.
“He probably doesn't have to do as much running as you would normally do as a full-back. I think we saw how comfortable Declan Rice was, from slipping from centre midfielder to centre back on Sunday.”
The switch in the backline has followed Smith’s decision to drop Ben Gibson, who endured a torrid time in the 3-2 defeat at Manchester United last month.
“When I leave people out of the team, I pulled them and tell them the reason why and Ben was no different,” said Smith.
“I gave him my reasons, and we've discussed what he needs to do to get back in the team.”