New Canary loan signing John Hartson this afternoon insisted that he had “no excuses” not to make an impact on his arrival in Norfolk.
The 32-year-old's name was, it seems, the first on Jim Duffy's lips as he took over as caretaker boss following Peter Grant's exit last week.
And having got the West Bromwich Albion striker in on an initial one month's loan deal, so Hartson himself says there's no reason at all why his move won't work.
Everything is in place and set fair – even his four-year-old boy is Carrow Road bound on Saturday to see his dad play for nigh-on the first ever time as the Canaries look to pull themselves out of that almighty mire with a home win over newly-promoted Bristol City. And, who knows? They might even score a goal in the process.
“I'm in a beautiful hotel – I can prepare properly,” said Hartson, who last kicked a ball in Championship anger eight months ago in Albion's 1-0 win over Cardiff City.
“I can get the right foods down me; I can stay here and do my extra work and stuff. Everything's here for me – there's no excuses, really. So I'm just going to give my best shot.”
Most Canary punters would settle for any sort of shot – be it from Hartson or anyone – given that City have now gone nine miserable hours without a goal. Last week's fateful trip to Queen's Park Rangers produced just one shot on goal all night – far too little, too late to save Grant's managerial skin.
Cue Jim Duffy's arrival at the helm and the first request of his caretaker reign.
“With Jim's introduction as caretaker, the first words that he said to me were 'John Hartson – make an enquiry about him',” revealed Bryan Gunn, left to make the deal happen as the club's liason officer and today left to do the introductions at Colney.
“I've got a good relationship with Tony Mowbray and there was nothing but praise from Tony about John's attitude and his work-rate in training this year – and the fact that he'd been training with the first team recently and his attitude about coming down here,” added the City goalkeeping legend.
“He could have stayed up there, had a weekend off with the family. But the whole thing moved on very quickly. I spoke to John and Tony on the Thursday and he was down on Sunday ready for action on Monday morning.”
From Hartson's perspective the alternative was another weekend off; another weekend heading back to Swansea for a Sunday roast with his parents. Now, the family are coming to him as he prepares for battle this Saturday.
“I just thought Norwich get good crowds, it's a fantastic little stadium – I say little stadium, 25,000 or whatever it is. And when I spoke to Jim and I spoke to Bryan (Gunn) and I thought: 'Well, why not..?',” said Hartson.
“It gives me a chance to come and play games again. And my children will come on Saturday and I was half thinking that they may never see me play a game.
“My boy's four and he can't remember much about me playing, so he'll be here Saturday and he'll be seeing his dad play – if I'm involved, obviously. So if nothing else, my kids will see me play.”
With Jamie Cureton among the many walking wounded, Duffy's choice of strike partners looks limited. Chris Martin is one, but given Duffy's recent experiences back in Scotland you get a sense that he is about to take a leaf out of Celtic's book and go big. Twice.
An impression that Hartson did nothing to dispel as he revealed his own liking for teaming up with another big frontman – be it ex-City star Chris Sutton, his one-time Celtic team-mate, Dion Dublin or, come the weekend, Czech frontman David Strihavka.
“Big Dave – the Czech lad – is a big strong lad and I've played with big men all my career.
“I played with Chris Sutton at Celtic; Iain Dowie at West Ham – I played with Dion (Dublin) at Celtic, so I quite enjoy playing with another big man so that'll be no bad thing,” said Hartson. In fairness, whoever he played with at Celtic Park worked – he grabbed 88 goals in his 146 league appearances for the Bhoys.
Two big strikers ensures that the Robins' defence will have their hands full – providing Norwich can get some service headed Hartson's way. You suspect Saturday's game won't be the prettiest; it might, however, be effective.
Given Norwich's sorry predicament, beggars can't be entertainment choosers would be Duffy's argument.
“At least you'll have two big lads up there, competing for everything that comes into the box,” said City's latest loan signing. “What happens is when you're the only big man you tend to do all the work and you're constantly setting things up for everybody else. Ask Dion; ask Chris.
“Chris spent half his career at Celtic setting things up for Henrik Larsson. That's his role and that tends to be the role of the only big man up there. But if you're playing with a two then you're not the only person when the goal-kicks are coming down the middle.
“You're not the only person jumping for every header. If I'm playing Earnie you cannot expect him to win a header against a 6ft 3in centre-half. With two of you, you share the workload and you tend to be that bit fresher to do other things as the game goes along. So I don't mind playing with another big striker.”
Overall, however, and it is clear that Hartson may be seeing this move as his own trip to the Last Chance Saloon. Are the goals still there? Are the legs? Is the hunger? Questions that the next month may well answer.
“I'm just here to help Norwich in their position – that's first and foremost. And then to help myself – to just see what happens,” he said, honestly. “Who knows? I may not score a goal in ten games and then I'll know by Christmas that it's time to hang them (the boots) up. I've got over 200 in my career and I can't now score one for love nor money.
“Or I might come here and get goals, do very, very well and there'll be other offers.”