New Canary loan signing Martin Taylor confirmed what many thought on Tuesday night – that his ring-rustiness was swiftly disappearing after featuring just once for his full-time employers Birmingham City this season.
That was in a Carling Cup clash at Ewood Park in September – back at the Lancashire club that first nurtured the 27-year-old's talents as a teenager before his ?1.25 million switch to Blues.
Thereafter, however, he has been stuck firmly on the sidelines until new Canary boss Glenn Roeder came a-calling.
Thrown into Sunday's derby game, it was Taylor's well-timed, near-post run and header that fired the Canaries into second-half life even if the man from the Press Association told the record books that it was an Owen Garvan (og).
Little more than 48 hours later and 'Tiny' was standing tall in the midst of that Watford onslaught and, indeed, would walk away from Carrow Road with the sponsors' Man of the Match champagne despite that final, 3-1 scoreline.
Given that the Norfolk club are in desperate need of any straw to cling to given their alarming position rooted to the very foot of the Championship table, both Taylor's presence and performances this week have offered one, small chink of light in the current gloom.
The fact that the player himself feels that his match sharpness is starting to come flooding back ahead of this weekend's long haul to Plymouth is another reason to hope that Norwich's season is finally starting to bottom out. That, maybe, the only way now is up.
“Do I feel as if I'm getting more match fit?” said Taylor, speaking at Colney this morning. “Yes, without doubt.
“You can play reserve games and what-have-you, but it's not the same as a full-on competitive game – and I've definitely had two of them!
“Just through the games I've felt stronger and stronger and so, hopefully, that will continue.”
Certainly Taylor was keen to lay a claim to his first goal of the season as that less than 'Tiny' frame moved well to meet Simon Lappin's corner on Sunday. For most, the fact that his header was clearly goal-bound ought to have been enough for his name to go down in the City record books – rather than that of Town's Republic of Ireland Under-21 star.
“I got a touch on it – and if it's going towards goal it should be mine. So I'll stake a claim for it – definitely,” said Taylor, whose experiences in helping Blues to promotion last season ensures that the English second tier holds few surprises for him.
The fact that Steve Bruce employed Taylor as his skipper on occasion also suggests that it is not only Roeder that sees him made of the right stuff at this level. All Norwich need is another three or four more Taylors to make sure that they are not barged over quite so easily the next time either a Watford or a West Brom hove into view.
“I know what the Championship is like – every game is tough. It can be 100 miles an hour, but there's a lot of quality in there,” said Taylor, well aware that after Sunday's derby heroics things went a little flat as Aidy Boothroyd's Championship leaders steam-rollered into the city.
“We got our tails up on Sunday and could go into the game on Tuesday with a bit of confidence, but the result didn't go so kindly. But we've just got to pick ourselves up before Saturday.”
And lose that 'nice little Norwich' tag that Roeder was railing against in his own Press conference this morning.
“I think that it's vital that you do have a mean streak,” said Taylor. “It showed on Tuesday – Watford were a big, strong side and you can win games like that; without really getting it down and playing.
“But I think we like to get the ball down and play – it's part of the game here, from what I've seen.”
The trick, of course, is to get the ball down quicker and play it faster; ping the ball around the Danny Shittus of this world rather than try to convince yourself that you can somehow barge through him.
But, as Roeder hinted afterwards, to do that you have to be a whole lot more sharper and brighter on the ball than the Canaries were on Tuesday night; you have to, for example, show rather more mobility and movement that John Hartson ever brought to the party.
“But you do need to stamp your authority down on the game in this division – and you need a lot of strength in the side to do that.”
City could also do with not being two goals adrift at the interval. Kind of makes your life difficult.
“We had a good go at it again on Tuesday night,” said Taylor. “But I'm not sure what it is – we started both games really well. So I don't think its the way that we start the game.
“I think we just need to keep our concentration; if we lose a goal, we cannot get our heads down; we've got make sure that we don't lose another one.
“But if we can just get our noses in front, you never know…'
Concentration is certainly key. Against Town, their second came from everyone bar Taylor standing still as Ipswich reacted first to Alan Lee's deflected free-kick and the ball finally fell to Pablo Counago to roll into an empty net; on Tuesday and it was a horrible piece of non-marking that gave Adrian Mariappa his free header that, eventually, crept in off the back of David Marshall's calf.
So the secret of an away-day success is? “Go down there and defend well,” said Taylor, due to celebrate his 28th birthday tomorrow.
“Stop them scoring and then you've got every chance of just nicking one – off a set-play or something.
“We've got players here who can score goals, so we've just got to make sure that we don't concede them.”