City boss Glenn Roeder was under few illusions as to what awaited at Home Park, Plymouth, this weekend – another huge test of his squad's mental and physical resolve.
For while last Sunday's 2-2 draw with the neighbours suggested that the new Canary chief had, indeed, galvanised his bottom-of-the-table troops into fresh life, come Tuesday night's home clash with Watford and Championship reality was slapping firmly in the face as the Hornets out-fought, out-muscled and out-run Norwich en route to that 3-1 success.
Now comes more of an acid test – just what sort of performance can Roeder and his new No2 Lee Clark prose out of this current Chmpionship squad? Can they unearth the kind of priceless away point they will need between now and next May?
Or will they head back to the dressing-room two goals adrift at the break for the third successive time?
“It's always been a difficult place to go – always,” said Roeder, having trooped down to the South-West before with both Gillingam and Watford.
“I don't think it's ever been an easy place to go and get a result,” said the City boss, clearly an admirer of Pilgrims boss Ian Holloway, one of the game's more talkative individuals. He was, of course, briefly linked to this autumn's vacancy at Carrow Road.
“The manager is enthusiastic to say the least and I like him a lot. He's a football man through and through.
“I don't know him very, very well but just watching him on the television and the way he says things is quite unusual. But we all know what he means. He's a good man and it'll be a tough game.
“But we have to win a football match – it's as simple as that. And Saturday is an ideal opportunity to do that.”
Roeder may have been in the building for less than a fortnight, but has long since worked out that from now until May is going to be one, almighty slog. If he didn't know that before he applied for the job then he certainly knows it now as he discovers just how slender Norwich's resources are – both numbers-wise and, crucially, physically.
Hence his call for the likes of Chris Martin, Michael Spillane and Jason Shackell to “maximise” themselves both in terms of their footballing ability and their physical stature – to hit both the gym and the training ground hard.
And to do it as if it were second nature; to not have to be constantly cajoled and encouraged into it by the Canary management staff.
“I don't think there will be one easy game for us this year – home or away because of the situation we're in,” said Roeder, his quest to bolt on some fresh and experienced loan faces carrying on apace.
Over and above his one-in-three Premiership striker, Roeder also has a central midfield character near the top of his list – someone well-versed in the ways of Home Park in November.
He is, quite clearly, trying to introduce an imposing spine to his newly-inherited side – to stop such repeats of Wolves away where the Canaries were simply over-run. Martin 'Tiny' Taylor was the first piece of that jig-saw. At least two more are still to come.
He has also identified left-back as another priority area although for now in the absence of the injured Adam Drury and the suspended Darren Huckerby, needs must….
“That's why we need those brave players – players who are not going to crack under the pressure of playing from the position we're in.
“And even more so if we can get ourselves into the position of getting a goal in front. Twice we've given ourselves the situation of chasing a 2-0 deficit which, from a psychological point of view, can be easier than if you're in front and trying to get over the winning line.
“But I'd like to have that worry on Saturday…'
Into that 'brave players' category come, it seems, both Martin and Spillane. Whether it is the arrogance of youth or whatever, Roeder ha salready seen enough of the two teenagers to convince himself that they have a bright future – both will be involved again tomorrow.
“I would have said that those two players around this training ground are as confident as a lot of the seniors. They do think they're good – and that's important. And I haven't seen a lot of either of them.
“But I think when Chrissy Martin came on the other night he didn't do himself any harm at all.
“And that's the first time I've seen him in a match the other night and he's got very good potential. Now I need to find out whether he's got the attitude to become a really top player. And the same with Spillane.”
With John Hartson having been returned to sender and Dion Dublin still struggling with his hamstrings, opportunity clearly knocks alongside Jamie Cureton with Chris Brown equally in the frame.
Dublin, however, will be involved whatever – Roeder has again noted how few real characters there are around the building and that the 38-year-old's influence, fit ot not, is something that he can ill do without.
“We are a quiet squad – there is no doubt about that,” said the new City chief. “And when I'm looking at players, as well as looking at their ability, I'm also trying to look for players that I know are leaders.
“Who come into the dressing room and speak. And if things are not how they should be, they'll say.
“Constructive criticism has got to be very much part of a dressing room. Otherwise if players keep making mistakes and their team-mates don't say anything to them, then they know that they'll keep getting away with it.
“I know I'll pick up on it – and Lee will, for sure.”
As did one or two others of recent memory. And they weren't always the oldest, either. “I'm told that when Craig Bellamy was starting his career at Norwich, at 16 he was what he is now.
“I haven't worked with him; I don't know him. But he gives you the impression that he wants to win at all times – even to the point of not having lots and lots of friends around the dressing room.
“But, again, I want to ban that word 'nice' from here. It's driving me mad. Everyone's nice. It's the truth, but it's a nuisance.”