Canary keeper David Marshall looks set to spare Canary chief Peter Grant one less injury headache after revealing that his 'Welcome to Humberside…' from Dean Windass on Saturday prompted no lasting damage.
The 38-year-old Tigers' striker thumped into the City No1 in the early stages of this weekend's trip to the KC Stadium – catching Marshall flush on the hip.
As the former Celtic keeper gingerly picked himself up and walked around his box in apparent discomfort, the fear was that Grant would be forced into another unscheduled change ahead of tomorrow night's Carling Cup second round trip to the Spotland home of Rochdale.
At least in that particular position he would have one man who knows exactly what Spotland is all about – ex-Rochdale keeper Matty Gilks who returns to his roots tomorrow following this summer's free agent exit.
Afterwards, however, and Marshall was shrugging off the blow and insisting he will be fine to meet the League Two minnows. No need for his No2 to be whistled up off the bench.
?It was just a knee in the hip, but we know what he's like,? said Marshall – a big, physical handful with an eye for both a goal and a pass, on Saturday's match-winning evidence. Little wonder ex-Canary boss Martin O'Neill wanted Dean Windass and wanted him ?before the turn of the century? all of 12, long years ago.
In the end, of course, he went from Hull to Aberdeen – where Marshall remembers him from old.
?We've watched the videos of him and, obviously, Dean played up in Scotland so we knew that was the kind of team that Hull would be.
?But I thought we stood up to that first half which you need to do here and I felt that when it went one-each we had a right good chance, but just bad defending cost us in the end.?
City's refusal to roll over and die in the face of such a physical approach was one of many straws that Grant was clinging to afterwards; so, too, City scorer Dion Dublin. That in the likes of Darel Russell and Jon Otsemobor, the Canaries have bolted on a more robust element to their play.
It is, you presume, one of the strengths of Julien Brellier's game – as and when his match fitness levels step up to the appropriate gear.
Marshall was, however, showing no ill-effects afterwards. ?It was just a straight knee in the hip, but you get a lot of those challenges in the Championship so you get used to it.
?And I'm used to it up the road anyway – it's similar up in Scotland, so I'll just get on with it.
?Will I be alright for Tuesday? Yes, definitely – it's not a problem at all.?
What is – or rather contines to be – is Norwich's lack of ability to stay tight, compact and focussed for a full 90 minutes. Hunkering down into a more battle-ready unit away from home is all too often what this division demands, but that shell has to stay in place for the full course of the game.
'Never switch off, never switch off…' would have been the gist of Grant's demands defensively. By and large, they didn't away at Preston on the opening day of the season; this weekend, they did – with all too familar consequences.
Hence why many an eye and an ear will be tuned into what the last week of this summer's transfer window brings.
?It was a disappointing result – before the game we thought we could come here and get the points,? said Marshall, with one managerial mantra insisting that your concentration levels peak five minutes before and after the break. Windass' opener duly arrived in the 49th minute before Dion Dublin hauled Norwich right back into the contest with his 71st minute peach.
At that point, the wind was in Norwich's sails. But then there's another well-established law from the managerial rule-book – 'Teams are always at their most vulnerable just after they've scored…' Cue Richard Garcia's winner six minutes later.
?When we got back in it, I thought we were playing well – they didn't even look to have a goal threat when they got their second goal,? admitted Marshall, as Windass returned to lead everyone a merry dance.
?As I say, we maybe lost a little bit of concentration for the first goal so maybe we'll have to have a look at keeping our concentration a little bit more because we looked a force. We looked as if we were going to go on and win it.?
Marshall also had another familiar face from north of the board on duty at the KC – Canary new-boy Ian Murray, thrown straight into the Championship fray at left-back after Adam Drury's sudden exit with groin trouble.
?I've been in a few Scotland squads with him and stuff,? said Marshall, as the 26-year-old former Rangers utility player settles in quickly to his new surroundings.
?Obviously he's not played for Rangers for a while – I think he had a virus about a year ago and things just went kind of bad from there – but he played a lot of games for Hibs and ended up captain up there.
?And I was speaking to him after the game and it's difficult for him – he's come in and he's not played that much competitively last season, so to come through the 90 minutes must have been a hard shift for him.
?But I tink he's done alright and he can only get better when he gets his fitness.?
At least, he can understand what the City keeper is saying, can't he?
?He's actually a bit quiet, so I struggle to understand him myself! But, as I say, as soon as he gets his match fitness up I think he'll be a good addition.?