Canary veteran Dion Dublin insisted the players shouldered the full responsibility for yesterday's 2-1 home defeat by Cardiff City.
Indeed, he himself took the full blame for the winning goal as Norwich slumped to their first home defeat of the season.
?The winning goal was my fault – nobody else's at all,? said the 38-year-old afterwards. ?It was my man that scored the goal; I was down to mark him; I didn't. And I'll hold my hand up for that.?
For the first hour of the contest, Dublin – both centre-half and skipper for the day in the absence of the injured Jason Shackell – looked to be marshalling his troops to a second, successive home victory.
The walls of Fortress Carrow Road were being re-built as the Canaries comfortably held on to their 1-0 advantage courtesy of Simon Lappin's excellent opener.
Two goals in the space of 20, second-half minutes, however, changed the whole mood of the afternoon. ?Sombre,? was Dublin's description of the dressing room post-match – the walls of Fortress Carrow Road once again laying in ruins around the players' feet.
?It's just frustrating to dominate a game for so long and lose the game 2-1. And it's down to us – the players. Nobody else,? said Dublin, for whom the Man of the Match bubbly probably came as scant consolation after the Bluebirds smash and grab raid left City in the bottom third of the table – albeit only a win away from crashing back into the top half of the early Championship standings.
City boss Peter Grant pointed a finger at Norwich's inability to play effective football; to close teams out – even with just a one goal advantage. For the brightest and best Championship teams, that's all you need. Provided you do the basics right.
?Concentration,? was Dublin's one-word answer as to what Norwich needed to do better to keep such leads intact.
?And the gaffer's right – basics. Seeing danger. I could go on and give you a whole list of things as to how we could make ourselves better, but that's one of the main things possibly – concentration. And taking responsibility.
?I'm just frustrated,? he added, clearly sorely tempted to launch into what, in every likelihood, could have been an exhaustive list of Norwich's second-half failings – his own among them. ?Just frustrated – it's hard to put into words, really.?
Picking up people ghosting in at the far post and picking up people period from corners might have gone some way to averting this weekend's collapse – a result that heaps some unwanted pressure on all concerned come the home clash with Crystal Palace in a fortnight's time.
After that it is Charlton Athletic (a), Wolves (a) and Manchester City (a) – one of the more testing seven days of Grant's 11-month managerial reign.
You could also understand Dublin's frustration from an individual point of view. Faced with the twin threat of Messrs Fowler and Hasselbaink, the 38-year-old had just seen Fowler disappear after a wholly ineffective afternoon.
Indeed, for much of the first period Dublin barely had to break sweat as he mopped up effortlessly alongside Gary Doherty. Not a crisis in sight – right up until that 64th minute moment when Cardiff substitute Peter Whittingham started to have a ball.
It would take two, big saves from Canary keeper David Marshall before the end to deny Whittingham further glory; by then, however, Roger Johnson had done the real damage with his free header for the winner. Dublin's man, as the player himself was big enough and honest enough to recognise.
It could so easily havebeen a different story after Lappin's second 25-yarder of the season got Norwich off to a perfect start.
?I thought Lapps' goal was superb,? said Dublin. ?And I honestly thought that we were in control. For a long period of the game – but not long enough.?
In common with everyone else, the players are now going to have two weeks to mull over events.
?How's the next two weeks going to be? Not very good. Not very good,? he said. ?I would imagine – and hope – there will be a lot of hard work to be done to rectify what we've done wrong today.?
Dublin's faith that the answer lay somewhere with the walls of Colney remained unmoved. Norwich are better than that.
?We have quality in the squad – it's just not coming together at the moment. I think everyone's happy with the size and the quality of the squad that we've got. We're just not in sync at the moment.
?Can these silly mistakes be put right? Yes, they can. How is up to the manager and Jim Duffy.
?You've seen how we've played in the first-half. I thought we were very good in the first-half. In the first-half. And that's not good enough.
?I want to be able to speak to you guys and say: 'What a great result – for 94 minutes we were superb…' But that's not one of Norwich's traits unfortunately.
?We were at home today. And we lost 2-1. That's the thing – that's the basics. It doesn't matter who we're playing – when we're at home and we've lost 2-1 it is very disappointing.?
As ever, Dublin's first love remains up front. He had, after all, grabbed two goals in two games – two, excellent strikes to boot against first Hull at the KC and then Rochdale at Spotland.
Some – including watching BBC Radio Wales summariser Iwan Roberts – were convinced he had bagged a third with a thumping downward header that was ruled out for, presumeably, a push on Glenn Loovens.
But with Shackell joining the list of ankle ligament injuries, so he was well aware his services may again be required elsewhere.
?I'll do what's needed,? he said. ?I'm sure Shacks will be OK over the next two weeks, but I don't know exactly when he's going to be back.
?But if there's a gap to be filled and the manager wants me to fill it, then I'll do it for as long as needs be. And as well as I possibly can.?