City star Simon Lappin called on his team-mates to “repay the faith” that hard-pressed Canary chief Peter Grant had shown in them by digging both the Carrow Road club and manager out of their current troubles.
Yesterday's 1-0 home defeat by bottom-of-the-table Sheffield Wednesday merely racked the level of frustration up another couple of notches as the Canaries found themselves 21st in the table and without a goal to their name in six hours of football after that fifth defeat in six games.
Patience was certainly wearing very thin on the terraces as Wade Small's 75th minute winner was greeted by a furious chorus of 'What a load of rubbish!' and 'You don't know what you're doing!'
All eyes now turn to Tuesday night's home clash with Scunthorpe United when City desperately need to dig out a big result before heading off to Loftus Road the following Monday for yet another chance to 'shine' in front of the live TV cameras.
By which stage Norwich's predicament could have worsened again – unless those raft of new faces start to show their worth and repay Grant for his outlay both in terms of some sizeable Championship transfer fees and, of course, the wages that go with them.
“As a group we've got to repay some of the faith the manager's shown in us – by picking us in the side and bringing us to the club,” said the 24-year-old former St Mirren favourite, whose left foot delivery from set-plays remains – on current form – City's best attacking weapon. Occasionally, only attacking weapon.
It should have led to an opening goal before the ten-minute mark as Lappin's whipped delivery picked out Gary Doherty at the far post. But once the stand-in City skipper's awkward header had reared up and over the Wednesday bar from some six-yards out so the chances, the belief and the confidence all dried up.
Small's winner had an awful air of inevitability to it as the arrival of second-half substitute Jermaine Johnson encouraged Wednesday to open up and take full advantage of City's evident unease.
“I don't think we created too many chances today and the strikers will only score if we make chances for them and we didn't do that today,” admitted Lappin. “Jamie (Cureton) had a shot in the second-half; first-half we had maybe one or two half chances…”
There is the first big worry – that Norwich simply don't look like scoring a goal. With Chris Brown all too often drifting off to the right of this weekend's forward three, Cureton lacked a big pal to play off through the middle. Darren Huckerby, restored to the side after his ankle niggle, played like a player with much on his mind.
Dion Dublin's return from suspension might help that attacking cause, should Grant opt to keep faith with Doherty and Ian Murray at centre-half and sling the 38-year-old straight back into his favoured role as a straight-forward centre-forward. Ideally, in a straight-forward 4-4-2.
Alas nothing of late has been that straight-forward – not least through the glut of injuries and suspensions that have forced Grant's hand this way and that.
Some decisions have, however, clearly been of his own free will – notably the one to drop both Darel Russell and Lee Croft from the team that actually gave Premiership Manchester City something to think about at Eastlands last week. Albeit a much changed Premiership Manchester City side.
So does he stick with the kids after Michael Spillane and Rossi Jarvis had their first taste of Championship football this season? Or does he look to either a Russell or a Julien Brellier to give him the kind of defensive midfield solidity that then, in theory, would allow Huckerby and Croft to take the contest to Scunthorpe?
But somewhere in that same, elusive mix Lappin has to figure. Doesn't he?
He at least insists that the Canaries have nothing but fear itself to fear on Tuesday night as City look to get their stalled season to finally stutter into some sort of life.
“Is there any fear in the boys? No, not at all – there's nothing to fear. Today was disappointing. The manager said that. And all the boys know that it's not good enough,” said Lappin, refusing to go down the 'must-win' game road.
“It's another game and we just have to approach it in the same manner – every game's a massive game for us; no matter how you play; home or away.”
Likewise, being caught in the midst of such a sorry sequence of results is nothing new; everyone has been through it before – and come out of the either side. And no surprises as to what, in Lappin's eyes, takes you from one side to the other – hard graft. Sheer hard graft.
“I think everybody has been in this sort of situation before – regardless of where they've played and at what level. We all go through it,” said Lappin.
“We just need to keep our heads down, keep working hard and get on with it. We've all got to get together as a group, on the training ground and on the pitch, and just get on with it.
“We know it's not good enough; there's obviously a lot of room for improvement and, as I say, we'll try and put it right. And give a lot to try and put it right.”
By rolling their sleeves up and digging out a result for the gaffer.
“That's expected of everybody's that's playing – hard work from every player is a given. You have got to go out there and work hard,” said Lappin, well aware that 1-0 home defeats to the league's bottom side doesn't help.
In fairness, Wednesday looked far from the shambles that their league position would suggest and in the on-loan arrivals of centre-half Michael Johnson and veteran midfielder Graham Kavanagh had secured just the men for an early season crisis. A lesson to be had, many might feel as Grant's own, urgent loan quest continues.
“It doesn't help the confidence, losing games – obviously not. But we played well on Tuesday night and have got to take confidence from that – going to a Premiership club and playing the way that we did,” said Lappin.
“Today we never got going the way we did on Tuesday night. As I say, all the boys are going to have to get their heads down, keep working hard and get on with things.”