New managers may come and go, but some things never change – Adam Drury is now out “for months” after under-going a ligament repair operation on his damaged right knee.
Speaking at his first pre-match Press conference ahead of Sunday's derby clash with the neighbours, new City boss Glenn Roeder did, at least, have one piece of bright news on the injury front – that Dion Dublin had been back in training for the last two days after shrugging off his 'broken back'.
Likewise, he also confirmed that new loan signing Martin Taylor would start; that he hoped to be in a position to announce the appointment of his new No2 and coach by tomorrow; that he had been pleasantly surprised by the up-beat and positive mood he had found awaited him in the corridors of Colney.
In short, there was a bright and business-like air to proceedings this morning. The only downside was Drury's injury blow – something that, said Roeder, would ensure that a fresh left-back would rank high on his list of transfer priorities after taking little more than 48-hours to slam a 6ft 4in centre-half into the heart of that Norwich defence.
“Unfortunately Adam has had to have an operation on his knee and that's going to keep him out for a number of months – for how many months we don't know yet,” said Roeder.
“And that's a real big loss to us as Adam was such a vital part of the team. But other than that, I think we're all recovered and ready for the big one.”
It was, he revealed, not ligament of the cruciate variety. “It was just ligament that he needed to have repaired, but it wasn't cruciate,” said the new City chief. The club will now liase again with the consultant surgeons in a couple of weeks before coming to a better assessment of just how long Drury will be out for.
Dublin is, however, back in business after the back injury sustained in the 1-0 defeat at Queen's Park Rangers. Roeder was clearly delighted to have such an obvious leader back at his disposal ahead of one of the most eagerly-anticipated derbies in recent years – in the yellow corner Glenn Roeder, in the blue new prospective Town owner Marcus Evans.
Victory for the 'north folk' and Roeder's reign will be off to an absolute flying start – his popularity already boosted by doing in 48 hours what Grant never did in 12 months and filling that No5 shirt.
Which, of course, means that the fit-again Dublin can play up-front.
“Dion's trained in the last few days,” said Roeder, who has already worked with the 38-year-old once before in his coaching career – when part of the England 'B' set-up. The respect remains.
“He's looking well – and he's a fantastic lad to work with. If all professionals were like Dion Dublin it would make the job a lot easier. A top class human being – and, obviously, a top class player,” said Roeder, with a phraseology that came straight out of the Bruce Rioch way of thinking.
What was equally evident was Roeder's knowledge of just what need for Norwich to get their season going – in no particular order, height, power and pace. City have to boost their physicality. And at 6ft 4in tall, 'Tiny' Taylor clearly does that.
As Ishmael Miller proved last weekend at The Hawthorns, without that sort of presence you can swiftly find yourself being bullied all over the park. And while Roeder may remain a football man at heart, there is a clear practical edge to his thinking. It's what makes the likes of Watford, Stoke and Sheffield United the teams they are. Height, pace and power.
“Particularly in this division you need height – and Martin certainly gives us that. In both penalty boxes,” said Roeder, with the on-loan Birmingham centre-half due to train for the first time with his new team-mates later this morning.
“I think you only have to look at Watford who are top of the division and are without doubt the best equipped,” said the Canary chief, about to bump into his old employers on Tuesday night.
“And it has certainly been proved that in this division height, power and pace come very much to the fore. And looking at the chaps, we don't look the biggest in terms of those qualities.”
But before anyone rushes to the conclusion that Roeder is about to prove Tony Pulis in disguise, his admiration for new-boy Taylor goes back to when he first saw him as a teenager at Blackburn. There he saw someone who was quite happy to get the ball down and play. At some stage, that's what he will want to encourage. For now, however, there will be an element of needs must.
“He's a footballing central defender,” said Roeder, a role that he made his own in his playig career. If British football ever found the time and the space for a libero, Roeder was probably it.
“I watched him at Blackburn when he was 18,19-years-old and I've seen him play right-back a few times for Blackburn and he was very astute at right back.
“Of course he's not come here to play at right-back, but what I'm saying is that he's versatile; he can head it and knock the ball away a long distance if he needs to. But he can also pass it out from the back – and that's something that I want him to do. Keep giving the ball away and you're not going to create what you want to creat in terms of scoring chances. So he's a bit of both.”
He's also a natural right-sider and with Jason Shackell left-sided, there said Roeder was two of his starting 11. “Keep me talking and you might get the other nine…”
Encouragingly for those hoping that new Roeder broom will sweep all manner of things clean, he was delighted by the mood about the place – that could prove key to all that will follow over the next seven months as Norwich look to drag their sorry ass off the bottom rung of the Championship.
“I've been pleasantly surprised that here, at the training ground, they've been very bright; I think in the two days, they've enjoyed us working together,” said Roeder, suggesting that there were one or two more smiles on faces. Perhaps, that all-consuming passion and intensity that the Grant-Duffy combo brought to the party had lifted slightly.
“Just walking around the building you can hear the shouting and screaming – enjoying themselves like I would want them to be. We know that we're in a very difficult situation at the moment, but that's not a reason to be miserable and head down around the training ground. Or getting upset with eachother. That's the last thing we need.
“They'll know when to be serious come match-time; in between time, I want them to have a great team spirit.”