It wasn't so much what Glenn Roeder said after yesterday's 3-0 defeat away at Plymouth – though that was strong enough – rather how he said it.
He picked each and every word very carefully as he hammered one nail after another into the unholy mess that he's inherited – and all without naming a single name or pointing a single finger.
But it was abundantly clear as the new Canary boss managed, just, to keep his anger in check that Peter Grant's City squad is about to be ripped to pieces.
Roeder's monumental challenge will then start in earnest at home to Coventry City in a fortnight's time. Three games into his new regime and he now knows exactly what his current crop of players can and cannot do.
They cannot, for example, survive in this division without the urgent addition of fresh and better players.
“It's the third game that I've had since I've been here,” said Roeder, slowly and deliberately – eyes still a-blazing from having just peeled the paint from the walls of the away dressing room.
“Often you learn more about your players in a defeat. We've just had a couple of defeats – against Watford and here today against Plymouth – and I've now got a clear picture of what I've inherited.”
“And the job in hand.”
Vaguely in the game before the break, two goals in the space of the first five minutes after the interval killed the contest completely as the Canaries collapsed into a sorry, dishevelled heap.
“I've now got a very clear picture of the squad that I've inherited – what they can do and what they can't do. And we need players through the door as quick as possible.”
Once again, the goals were as soft as they come – free headers, free shots – and but for some woeful finishing from Barry Hayles before half-time and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake it could have easily have been more as Norwich's physical frailties were again painfully laid bare.
More alarmingly once Martin 'Tiny' Taylor disappeared with a groin strain on the half mark, it was open to question whether City had the stomach, let alone the stature, for the long fight ahead.
With just nine points on the board from 16 games played, City need to muster at least 40 points from their last 30 games to have any hope of survival. It was, said Roeder, the biggest challenge he's ever faced in his managerial career.
But one he was approaching with undisguised relish.
“I'm a very positive person – I believe I will turn it round,” he said. “But even before today – and whatever the result was – I've been clear in my own mind that this is the toughest but is going to be the most enjoyable job I've done.”
Be warned, however. There are no miracle cures out there. Nothing is going to happen overnight.
“It's certainly not going to be flipped over in a couple of weekends, that's for sure,” added the new City boss, insisting that a cultural sea change had to happen at the club if the Canaries were ever to get back to winning ways on a regular basis.”
The players were due back in at Colney this morning to digest what had gone on before. Roeder admitted that he himself needed to sleep on what he had just witnessed after, you presume, sparing no-one's blushes in the immediate post-match inquest.
“The dressing room needs painting where I've just come from – I've certainly stripped it, anyway.
“And sometimes when you do that you can make some wrong assessments. But by the time I see them tomorrow I'll have watched a lot of video footage which will make it clear in my mind what I think I've just seen.”
The first and over-riding priority now was to get new players in. Roeder revealed that he had hoped to have three more players in by this weekend after finding himself linked to Birmingham City left-back Matt Sadler.
Minus Adam Drury and Darren Huckerby, Pilgrims winger Lee Martin ripped into Messrs Murray and Lappin with abandon yesterday. The luckless Lappin almost handed Hayles a complete gift with a suicidal, blind back-pass that had new Canary No2 Lee Clark fuming on the touch-line.
“With no game next week, it certainly gives me more time to get new players in.
“And I will do everything I can to convince players to come here and play football.
“We have to have new players in; we have to have fresh blood into this football club. Into this squad by the time we play Coventry,” said Roeder, clearly believing that he has given everyone currently at the club the chance to prove a point to him.
Or not, in all too many cases.
“It goes without saying that I've seen a lot of things in the past couple of games that I don't like. There's certain things in their characters that I don't like. Don't like at all.
“There's people there that are going to lose their shirt and I'm not convinced how much bottle they've got to win it back.”
He also had one, final suggestion – that the players apologise to the supporters for their 'efforts'. Some 550 Canary fans ahd made the long haul down to the South-West – more through duty than any real sense of hope. The contest duly lived up to everyone's expectations.
“That was a seriously bad defeat. I'm not trying to win brownie points with our supporters or anything, by my God,” said Roeder, his anger close to bubbling to the surface.
“They've travelled all the way here to see a performance like that. I can apologise to them, but I want my players to apologise to them. It costs a bloody lot of money to get down to Plymouth from Norwich and we were let off the hook at 1-0 down at half-time in my opinion…
“So I think I'm remaining pretty cool – considering how I'm feeling inside.”