Why ex-Sunderland defender Danny Batth isn’t playing at Norwich City after deadline-day transfer

The inside track on Danny Batth’s situation at Norwich City ahead of The Canaries’ Championship fixture against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
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Sunderland are preparing to face Norwich City at the Stadium of Light - and there will be a familiar face in The Canaries’ squad for the Championship fixture.

Centre-back Danny Batth made the switch from Wearside to Norfolk on transfer deadline day, after making 40 Championship appearances for Sunderland last term and being named the Supporters’ Player of the Year.

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Yet Batth is still waiting for his first Norwich start and has only made two late appearances off the bench for David Wagner’s side, who have the joint worst defensive record in the Championship after conceding 24 league goals in 13 games this campaign. To find out more about the defender’s situation, we caught up with Norwich reporter Adam Harvey from The Pink Un on the latest episode of The Roar Podcast. Here’s what he said when asked about the Batth’s lack of game time.

“He arrived off the back of Norwich selling Andrew Omobamidele to Nottingham Forest on deadline day. It was one of them where they needed cover in that position because Grant Hanley is out until the new year with quite a bad injury which he suffered back in March time.

“They needed cover and it felt like with Danny Batth he’s an experienced player, of course a well-loved character from his time at Sunderland who was excelling in a pretty good Sunderland team last year by all accounts. I think when he arrived it seemed like a good experienced player to have in reserve with already two quite experienced players in the Championship in Ben Gibson and Shane Duffy, another summer signing.

“I just think for David Wagner he likes a settled side and tends to stick with it. He also likes to have Ben Gibson who is left footed and Shane Duffy who is right footed, and is very much I want the defenders in set positions. He’s just stuck with his guns.

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“I think with the situation they are in, Grant Hanley is coming back sooner than was maybe expected. For Danny Batth it’s probably a really frustrating situation to be in because he’s not getting any minutes or any sort of look in for a team that is conceding a lot of cheap goals. Ben Gibson headed into his own net against Coventry, Shane Duffy has been susceptible to a few mistakes.

“I think a lot of Norwich fans are crying out for Danny Batth to get an opportunity but for whatever reason in David Wagner’s mind, whether it’s something he’s seen in training or whatever, there must be some reason he’s not playing him. It’s a strange one because from everything we’ve heard from the Sunderland end he’s a well-loved man up there.”

Sunderland will be hoping to bounce back from three consecutive defeats when they face Norwich, with Tony Mowbray’s side dropping to 10th in the Championship table following Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Leicester. Norwich are two points behind the Black Cats and winless in their last four league games following a 2-1 loss against Middlesbrough last time out.