City's principal shareholder Michael Wynn Jones last night gave a fascinating insight into just what a gruelling physical and emotional process appointing a new manager is – and hinted that Canary fans may yet have at least another ten days to wait before the outcome of their latest quest is announced.
“This is my third (managerial appointment) and I can't really say that I've enjoyed any of them,” said Wynn Jones, whose 11 years as a director have seen the board appoint the Bruce Rioch-Bryan Hamilton combo and then, of course, last autumn's decision to hand Peter Grant the managerial crown.
In between time, Nigel Worthington had the better part of six years at the helm; his appointment, however, came from within as he, Doug Livermore and Steve Foley marched up to the boardroom and all but insisted on the job after their own caretaker spell in charge.
The current process – including a first round of interviews last week – is likely to be no less fraught than the first two with Wynn Jones, his wife Delia Smith and Company having the added frisson of being stuck firmly in the bottom three of the Championship table having not scored a goal for nine hours.
That tends to concentrate one or two minds as they try to pick their way through the latest managerial minefield to confront them.
“It's tough – we've done five interviews. And we did all of those on one day and they're such serious candidates that you've got to give them a hell of a long time.
“And while I can't complain about that, it's having to make the decision – that's the hardest single thing because there's so much responsibility on your shoulders.”
There is, he admits, little margin for error this time round. According to the board, the fates might have dealt Grant a wickedly unlucky hand, but clearly when they set out on this same process 12 months ago they never intended to find themselves back in exactly the same boat a year later.
A boat that is now looking distinctly leaky given the club's perilous league position – albeit a mere ten games in. They were – and remain – convinced that Captain Grant would have found some calm seas for the good ship Canary, but for an ill-wind that blew him firmly onto the resignation rocks.
“One of the reporters said: 'What's going to happen if you make another mistake?'
“And I said: 'Well, what was the first mistake?' And he said: 'Peter Grant..'
“But I don't see that as a mistake. I think by any objective standards Peter Grant was the man – absolutely. Head and shoulders above any other applicant we had. And in another set of circumstances he could have been one of the best managers Norwich ever had. It didn't work out.”
Dust yourself quickly down; move on, would be the Wynn Jones message. “Face up to the fact – backs to the wall, shoulders to the wheel, best foot forward. And without being trite, we've got to get on with it and look to the future.
“But when I do think about it sometimes, it does give me a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. It really does. Because there's tens of thousands of expectations riding on it.”
This time they at least have the moral – and, potentially, financial support of the Turners by their side with Andrew insisting that it was not a time for “penny pinching”.
Wynn Jones praised Neil Doncaster's role in actually putting the whole logistical process together – itself a nightmare given the Canaries' desire to give themselves the broadest range of candidates to select from.
“Neil does it brilliantly,” said Wynn Jones. “Don't forget it's not just organising short-lists – or long lists in the first instance – and then getting the board to narrow it down and all that.
“Then you've got to do due diligence on every candidate – well not every candidate. I think that second division manager from Turkey is probably not the man for us. And, no, I'm not kidding.
“And so we end up with documents this thick, he added – thumb and fore-finger a half-inch apart. “And that's made up of talking to a lot of people in football.”
Advice and invaluable information that, it appears, has come free of charge and without an initial request. Everyone wants to help.
And both Delia and Wynn Jones do have some big friends in football – one glance at the Canary Catering guest list will reveal an instant panel of experts-cum-dinner speakers. One sits and presides on the Match Of The Day sofa every Saturday night.
“We have actually – and spontaneously – had an awful lot of unsolicited support from big names. Premier managers, international managers who have actually said: 'Can I give you any help?' They rang us – and you've got to listen, obviously.”
And that's still just the start. “There are two seperate problems. Because you've got to get all these people together,” said Wynn Jones, with the Canaries both doing the chasing and being chased.
“The ones that have applied, they're easy to organise. Other than the ones that are in a job. And, of course, people apply when they're in a job. Or apply indirectly. You know how the system works.
“And then it's a cardinal rule that you always approach the club and then you get knocked back. As yet, I don't think we've been knocked back – we probably will with some of them. And that takes time,” said Wynn Jones, not now expecting any announcement until after the away trip to West Bromwich Albion in eight days time.
Three big wins from Mr Duffy and, in theory, the picture could change again. It is, however, a very short time for Grant's No2 to get that level of momentum behind him.
Wringing even a goal out of is shoddy troops would be a step in the right direction. He did, in fairness, handle himself very well in front of an anxious, occasionally angry AGM crowd.
“So I don't think there'll be any movement until next week which, I guess, means that we can say pretty safely that Jim will have three games.
“I think it'd be totally unrealistic to think that any final decision would be made in time to announce something before West Brom.”