The look on Peter Grant's face said it all really. He was a different person to the shell-shocked figure who greeted the press after the Wolves debacle on Saturday.
Last night, he was proud of his players, you could just tell. That fateful loss at Molineux was now a distant memory.
At least – after a spirited Carling Cup performance against a side sitting in the top four of the Premier League – he now had something to cling onto; after all, the Canaries pushed Sven Goran Eriksson's Manchester City all the way in an inriguing third round tie.
The facts will say that the Blues are through to the last 16 but for Norwich, it was a big morale boost after such a dismal showing in the Black Country.
“It was a big disappointment but the only disappointment was the result, not the performance, it was excellent,” said Grant.
“It was the complete oppostite to the weekend. We showed a lot of character. We lost more players before the game so for the young boys to come in and play as they did was very, very pleasing.
“It's a cruel game and I didn't think we deserved to lose but if we are going to lose a game, I'd rather lose it like that rather than get played off the park.
“I'm very, very pleased with the boys. We showed great character, as I've said, and I couldn't have asked for more.
“Did I think we deserved to take it to extra time? At least. I thought we looked the more threatening of the two sides. We moved the ball well, created chances and that is all I can ask for.
“Maybe we could have been a wee bit more clinical, a couple of times we passed it when maybe there was a shot on. Sometimes I think if we'd have been a bit more greedy in the box then we could have caused the upset.
“But I've got to look at the big picture and that was our performance and our response to the weekend. You have to consider the amount of changes we had to make as well. We were without seven or eight first-team players what with injuries and suspensions.”
Possibly the most encouraging aspect to take from the game was the sterling shifts put in by Rossi Jarvis and Michael Spillane ? both making their 07/08 debuts in the heart of the Canary midfield.
Left on the fringes by Grant's summer arrivals, it was a case of needs must at Eastlands last night. City were really down to the bare bones; it was time to stand up and be counted.
“I haven't got a set criteria about who plays and who comes in whether it be their age or whatever, but we had to put those boys in tonight,” added Grant.
“Sometimes it is difficult to put the youngsters in because the team isn't playing well. But to come to a place like this and play against very, very good players and perform as they did has shown me they can play.
“Tonight we had no option but to put them in. Every fit player we had at the club was here and on the bench. As I've said though, the big thing for me is that these boys have shown they can play.
“I know they can play but it is all about giving them the confidence to play and that isn't always easy.”
One familiar name missing from the Canaries' team sheet was talismanic forward Darren Huckerby. But before City supporters start getting a panic on, it had nothing to do with his post-Wolves rant.
The Norwich chief confirmed afterwards that Huckerby missed out on a return to his former club after picking up an ankle injury in training ? all of which will add to Hucks' growing frustration at the season so far. For him, it's been stop-start, stop-start.
“Darren got a training injury yesterday. He blocked a ball and twisted his ankle but typical Darren, he wanted to travel with us and see how it went.
“We tried it this morning but he couldn't even jog on it so that was a blow for us. Football is like that though, as I've said before, and it gives someone else an opportunity. But my only concern now is whether Darren will be available for the weekend.”
Another injury blow came with the news that captain for the night Gary Doherty was now struggling with a groin injury. If it hadn't been for the lack of numbers in the Canary ranks, he would have come off at half-time and must now be a doubt for Saturday's crunch meeting with fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.
With fellow defenders Jason Shackell and Dion Dublin both suspended for this weekend's Carrow Road clash, God knows who will be in front of David Marshall.
It never rains but it pours?.
“Gary Doherty could have come off at half-time,” revealed City boss Grant.
“He's suffering badly with his groin, but he continued on and that's the spirit you need ? allied to being able to pass the ball and I thought we did that very well.
“Gary will be struggling for Saturday though and we are obviously short in that area, but we'll see how he goes.”