City keeper David Marshall made one simple request this week: 'Let's get someone appointed ASAP and wipe this season's slate clean…'
Signing up for a bitter Championship relegation fight was certainly not what the 22-year-old had in mind when he made his ?1 million switch south this summer.
With Canary chief executive Neil Doncaster telling a supporters roadshow in Diss last night that the club were “closing in” on Peter Grant's successor, so Marshall's hopes for a spot of stability and direction might still be answered next week.
In the meantime he can look forward to tomorrow's away trip to high-flying West Bromwich Albion – not what any doctor would have ordered given the unholy mess the Norfolk club find themselves in at the foot of the table.
“It is hard – and obviously the players would like it resolved one way or the other,” said Marshall at Colney yesterday.
“I think the most important thing is to get the right manager in – we're not in a good position in the league,” added the City keeper, with a neat line in understatement.
The fact that Leicester City are now in the hunt for a new boss merely muddies the water further. Iain Dowie, Paul Jewell, Simon Grayson… suddenly Norwich aren't the only show in twon.
And if somewhere deep in the background the Turner cheque book is starting to flap open, then they now have competition from Foxes owner Milan Mandaric – now, of cours, on to make his third appointment of the season after Martin Allen's 96-day reign to be followed by Gary Megson's 42-day stint.
Both Sheffield managers – Bryan Robson at United and Brian Laws at Wednesday – are likewise reported to be under pressure; QPR have long had a vacancy after John Gregory's exit.
“Obviously it takes time and obviously there's few clubs in the Championship looking for a manager, but as long as we get the right man appointed – that's the most important thing.”
Norwich now have another hat in the ring in the shape of Dion Dublin who admitted yesterday that if opportunity knocked it would be something that he would have to consider “very carefully”. Managerial experience would be the chink in the 38-year-old's armour – that and barely having a coaching badge to his name.
Marshall, for one, wasn't sure whether experience was everything.
“I don't know really,” he said, with Dion's name yet to pop up on the dressing room radar.
“I suppose everybody would prefer an experienced manager, but it's just up to who's available and who would want the job.”
He did admit that it was fast becoming the principal topic of conversation in the dressing room.
“There's obviously a lot of speculation in the Press and the players are talking about it all the time – and talking about the games and stuff. Because we're disappointed at how the season's gone.
“So, hopefully, we can get somebody appointed soon and kind of start again,” said Marshall, his season clearly not panning out as hoped – even if a slight silver lining has emerged in the shape of his return to the Scottish international set-up.
“When I signed I didn't think we'd be in this position, but our performances haven't been good enough and obviously the results have shown that.
“As I say, it's a tough position to be in although there's a long way to go in the league. And, hopefully, if we get somebody appointed soon then we'll get a lot better.”
The fact that it is the free-scoring Baggies up next hardly helps. Tony Mowbray's fourth-placed side have smashed home 16 goals already this season at The Hawthorns and will be licking their lips at the prospect of a plump little Canary hoving into view.
“They've struggled away from home, but at home they're very strong,” admitted Marshall, likely to have his hands full come three o'clock tomorrow.
“It's a hard game, but they've all been tough games. And we've not played the real top sides yet – and we've got some tough games coming up in terms of the derby and Watford as well.
“But we're going to have to get points from somewhere because we've not done well in the last few weeks and, hopefully, they can come on Saturday.”
He knows pretty much what awaits – he has run into Mowbray north of the border where the ex-Town skipper first cut his managerial teeth with Hibs. It might not have escaped one or two people's notice that Mowbray was floating around at the same time that Grant was appointed.
“Up at Hibs, they were usually very attacking sides – they used to play three-up. Or one up and two wingers, so it'll be a tough game.
“But we can cause them problems – I know we can,” said Marshall, with the Canaries forced to go into battle minus gtheir biggest current handful – John Hartson, ineligible to play against his full-time employers.
“It's disappointing Big John not playing because I think he's looked dangerous whenever he's played, but if we can just get the first goal then I think that changes the game.”
Despite the overwhelming temptation to stare at the abyss beneath, Marshall is resolutely looking upwards – convinced that the Norfolk club can scrabble their way out of trouble and move into rather calmer waters.
It is a hope he needs to bottle and share with the supporters; most of them fear a long, hard season ahead. And one with absolutely no guarantee of a happy ending.
“I think we're better than that,” said Marshall, quizzed as to whether a frantic releagtion struggle would be City's lot for the season.
“I'm aiming higher. Two or three wins and you go up a good few places in this league. So I'm aiming higher than just a relegation battle.”
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