It's hardly ideal when you find yourself down the proverbial bare bones barely a few weeks into the season.
And especially so after your team has desperately struggled to find its feet to date, has just delivered its worst performance for many a year and is pitched against one of the form teams in the Premier League… But that was the situation facing Peter Grant at the City of Manchester Stadium last night.
Now it wasn't as though this was solely a case of downright bad luck as far as injuries were concerned, of course, because neither Jason Shackell, Julien Brellier or even Dion Dublin should have been sitting twiddling their thumbs some 250 miles away back in Norfolk when the teams took to the field in Lancashire last night had they not been guilty of varying degrees of moments of madness in the past week.
And that would have made what was already a nigh-on impossible task even harder to take for the City boss.
Grant's main concern at kick-off time, however, would not have been how his troops were about to perform over the next 90 minutes ? although he wouldn't have been entirely apathetic! ? but more about ensuring that the Canaries would be ready to roll their sleeves up against Sheffield Wednesday this Saturday and right the many woeful wrongs that were evident at Wolves.
That said, the manner of City's display would have made him a very proud man as he pondered just what-might-have-been last night on the long coach journey back to Norfolk, because the Canaries were absolutely superb and actually deserved to win the game.
Forced into making even more changes due to the late withdrawal of Darren Huckerby due to an ankle injury picked up just over 24 hours before kick-off, the two players that ultimately benefited though somewhat ironically proved to be the stars of the show – and accordingly it has certainly provided Grant with food for thought.
Youngsters Rossi Jarvis and Michael Spillane barely put a foot wrong all evening, with Spillane in particular so dominant in the middle of the park that former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson was forced into making a change to his side mid-way through the second half to try to even things up in those areas.
The Republic Of Ireland U-21 international was excellent, and must surely have done enough to keep his place in the starting line up for the visit of the Owls on Saturday?
To single out the two former Academy players though would be remiss, because from one to eleven last night every man in a yellow shirt played his part, and the passion, desire and, most important of all, pride, that was so badly missing at Molineux were delivered in abundance.
Finally we were treated to a City side not only showing the necessary competitive spirit this season, but also producing the type of quality attacking football alongside it that we knew was lurking around somewhere within their ranks.
Passes were arriving at their intended destinations, tackles were being won and City were providing a serious attacking threat to their opponents as well as defending as a unit, as opposed to four individuals who hardly knew each other.
It was heart-warming stuff, and long may it continue.
Like I say – and I'm sure we'd all agree – last night's result and performance counts for very little relatively speaking, especially so when what amounts to 'Judgement Day' is now but three days away?
And I suppose it would be wise to not get too carried away with what was still a defeat last night when all is said and done ? words like 'chickens' and 'counting' spring to mind.
But the contrast between the drivel we witnessed at Molineux and the excellence on show last night couldn't have been greater, and so we can't be anything but optimistic now for Saturday as a result?
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