Sam Byram felt Norwich City ‘left it very late’ to decide his Carrow Road future, before sealing a reunion with Daniel Farke and Leeds United.

The 30-year-old defender was among a number of players who departed last summer after an injury-hit stint in Norfolk.

Byram proved his fitness to incoming Whites’ chief Farke, and has been a key figure in a Leeds promotion push – including a winning Carrow Road return in a 3-2 Championship victory last month.

The experienced defender, speaking to the Athletic’s Phil Hay, felt the Canaries were too slow to confirm if he was part of David Wagner’s plans or not.

“They left it very late,” he said. “And not just with me. It was a strange period because I didn’t know where I stood. So yeah, that was definitely a first.

“Now that I’m sat here, playing at Leeds under a manager I know and playing frequently, it’s easy to say I was never worried. But if I’m honest, thinking back to when I didn’t know what I’d be doing this year, it was a bit of a troubling time — one where you’ve got to keep the faith and hope that something crops up.

“I’ve played a few games in the Premier League and I’ve played quite a lot in the Championship. So your expectation is ‘I’ve played at those standards, I should get a club at that level’ but with the injury history I’ve got, I wasn’t daft.

"I knew a lot of clubs would have doubts about me. That makes you think about whether to drop down a league, to try to come back up. Who’s going to want me? But I tried hard not to think too much in that way. I concentrated most on keeping myself fit and injury-free.”

Byram missed two years of football with the Canaries following lengthy complications after injuring his hamstring in a Premier League game against Liverpool in February 2020.

“I was gutted by that,” he said, “But when I found out, I’d never have known it would actually be more like two years. After five or six months, I was expecting to be back playing. (But) it just didn’t feel right.

“I’d been sent to see so many specialists. I’d have scans and they’d come back clear but there was still the pain. I was fed up of trying things and them not working, of getting my hopes up but no one being able to tell me what was wrong.

“It got to the point where I just didn’t want to go into the training ground. Going to work with this guy in London, it was such a relief to be away from Norwich. Not because of anyone in particular, just because it got me away from people asking how you are, as strange as that sounds.

“People ask out of the goodness of their heart, but when you’re getting 30 people a day saying ‘oh, is it better?’ and every time you have to say ‘no’, it’s quite diminishing. The spell I had in London was huge for my mental side and my body.”