From a distance it would appear that caretaker boss Jim Duffy must be all things to all men at Colney these days – from manager, to first team coach to chief bottle-washer, the 48-year-old former Dundee chief must surely have his hands full.
For with no coach since Martin Hunter's exit and no manager since Peter Grant's departure, Duffy casts a lonely shadow up at City's training HQ – hence the determination of the club's liason officer Bryan Gunn to ensure that everyone rallies round in what is clearly a real hour of need.
?I'm out there to support Jim in whatever way he needs,? said the long-time City favourite, cast as master of ceremonies this week as he unveiled new loan-signing John Hartson to the Press.
?And there's a good team of back-room staff here as well and everyone's mucking in at the moment,? said Gunn, well aware that Norwich were always one short following Hunter's switch to Watford earlier this season.
?Yes, there was a body down but there was plans afoot to improve that and get another body in,? said Gunn, with events having long over-taken that plan as Norwich's hunt for a long-term managerial successor to the luckless Grant takes precedence.
?Until everything is finalised, Jim's in charge of the squad and in charge of the team in preparation for the match against Bristol City and once we get through that we'll find out what the outcome is,? added the long-time City No1, back in his track-suit at Colney.
?So it is a difficult time – football clubs go through this. Not only Norwich City, but other clubs through it over different periods of their existence so we've just got to deal with it in the best way that we can. Be as positive as we can and lift the players.?
It will, after all, come down to them pulling Norwich out of the mess they are in; from somewhere within that squad salvation has to come.
?It's up to them at the end of the day to go out on thepitch and perform in front of 25,000 against Bristol City – a team that have come up from Division One and who are playing some good football and getting results,? said Gunn, as another crucial run of Championship games loom. There is the small matter of a derby clash to look forward to in the none-too distant future.
?We just need to try and turn it round,? he added, with the endless round of managerial speculation inevitably circling around Colney. Can the players be cocooned from it all? No, in short.
?It's up to the players at the end of the day. If they want to read newspapers, go onto websites – modern news information is readily available and we've got a big TV in the breakfast room which the players sit down and watch.
?So we can't keep them cocooned from that, but at the end of the day they have got to be professional about what they do; they're employed by the football club to perform to the best of their abilities.
?And if they can do that – and they can do that as a group, as a team – we shouldn't have any problems. Because on paper those players that have been brought in during the summer and those players that have been here already are quality players. It's just believing in themselves and taking it onto the pitch.?
It has, he readily admitted, been a testing time. Now is not the hour for shrinking violets and wavering hearts. The hope is that hartson's arrival might have lifted the odd spirit.
?It's been difficult for everybody,? admitted the Canary legend, thrust ever nearer centre stage by the turbulent events of the last nine days.
?Obviously after the result last Monday night things have moved on very quickly, but it's down to Jim, the members of staff that are around him – myself included – and the players to pick themselves back up from that.?
The arrival of John Hartson in their midst will, ideally, give everyone a lift, as will the return to both Colney and fitness of Chelsea's Jimmy Smith.
?We felt that adding a new face into the squad – certainly of the stature of John Hartson – would be a start and it's certainly got the rest of the players talking around the breakfast room on the Monday morning once they'd heard that we'd made the move for him,? added Gunn, as opportunity knocks for the on-loan West Bromwich Albion striker to kick-start his own professional career back into life after the better part of nine months without a competitive Championship game.
Given that the Canaries have now gone nine hours without a goal as they slump into the bottom three, so both Hartson and his new employers find themselves pretty much in the same boat – in dire need of a pick-me-up.
?He's got an opportunity now to come into our squad – there's been a lack of goals and John over his career has scored goals.
?And he also helps make goals as well with his sheer physical presence and we're helpful he can help with both. Score – plus bring others into the game.?
Provided, of course, he gets the kind of service that he can thrive on. Not for the first time this season, that may well depend on the Canaries getting some kind of grip on midfield. Likewise, the more creative aspects of Smith's play – should he walk straight into Duffy's starting plans – will also be crucial.
?The important thing now for us is to get the ball into the right areas of the park and make sure that there's crosses going into the box and there's bodies in there on the end of it.?