City boss Glenn Roeder will discover that little bit more about his newly-inherited troops tomorrow night as the old world charms of Bloomfield Road await the Canaries.
On the last Tuesday night in November.
“When you're not picking up points away from home, it's more of a psychological problem than a football ability problem,” said Roeder, with the Canaries boasting just one point on their travels all season – and that from a 0-0 draw on the opening day away at soon-to-be-struggling Preston North End.
Thereafter, penalty shoot-out success against lowly Rochdale apart, it's been misery all the way.
“I think you always have to try and get through to your players that everything's the same – other than the fact that you're not playing in front of your own supporters.”
Which in Norwich's case, can make the world of difference. Handed something to sink their own teeth into with a fully committed Canary display, the long-suffering Norwich faithful played a huge part in this weekend's success. Come tomorrow night, however, and with the best will in the world it will only be the hardy hundreds that will make that open stand at Bloomfield Road some six hours or more from home.
“The fact that teams have better home records than away records shows how important what goes on in your brain is – probably more important than what goes on in your legs,” said the City chief.
“So I can't wait to get up to Blackpool on Tuesday night and see them perform the way that they did against Coventry – minus the 24,000 supporters that are cheering us on.”
Simon Grayson's side are yet to lose at home this term and it will be a real test of Norwich's recent resolve to see if they can prise something out of such a tricky, Championship outpost.
“It's never been an easy place to go to – I haven't been there for a while; I don't know if there have been any changes,” said Roeder, with Bloomfield Road now boasting two new stands and little else. Certainly it had a real, half-built feel on Norwich's last visit – the FA Cup trip in January.
“They're the sort of things that players will run out and look at and it doesn't look very appetising. But again, that's a mental thing. That's a problem with a person's head if they can't get themselves up if the ground's not beautiful and it's a lovely pitch.
“We've got to get through to the lads – whether we're home or away; whatever stadium we play in – we put in a performance. We put in a performance like we did against Ipswich, like we did against Coventry, like we did for periods against Watford and we will get plenty of good results,” said Roeder, as he laid out his expectations for tomorrow night.
“I'm expecting a performance that merits a point – or three,” he said, simply.
Roeder's lone, minor injury concern was over Dion Dublin with the 38-year-old limping out of Saturday's 2-0 win over Coventry City with cramp. The suspicion remains that the veteran striker will travel to the North-West swathed in cotton wool – as he will to the Britannia Ground next Saturday. Roeder appeared to fear nothing untoward at Colney this morning.
“He wasn't too concerned and I didn't get a phone call yesterday,” said the City boss. “So I'd like to think that he's not going to be a problem. And if it is a problem, it'll only be a slight one which might only keep him out for one game and he'll be OK for the weekend.”
Roeder has clearly long since twigged Dublin's influence about the place. Speaking straight after the game on Saturday, the Canary chief described him as “a warrior – and this team needs warriors.”
It was a line he stuck to this morning. How much Norwich City needs Dion Dublin. “We've just got to be very careful with him because he is very important to the team.
“Not just on the field – obviously that's where his major role is – but he's a major player for us in the dressing room and around the training ground, so we've got to take care of him,” said Roeder, with Dublin now facing the prospect of five big games in the space of a fortnight.
“It is a big ask of him, but it's not impossible. If we can man manage him and get his recovery right between the games – with what we know now-adays in terms of how to look after players – I don't see why we can't get good use out of him in all the games.”
Tomorrow's long haul north will also grant teenager Steven Arnold further first team experience with Roeder all but resigned to having to keep every ginger crossed between now and January 1 following the long-term injury to his No2 Matty Gilks and the decision by the previous regime to let Joe Lewis depart on a window-to-window deal with no call-back clause.
Apparently the same rule applies to the forgotten man of City's goalkeeping department, Paul Gallacher now on loan at Dunfermline.
“I haven't seen any goalkeepers that haven't had a contract since the window closed,” said the City boss, his hopes of picking up a free agent looking therefore slim.
“So I would have thought that is the way that it will pan out. He (Arnold) is obviously going to get a lot of experience just being in the first team dressing room and being on the bench – hopefully we'll never have to tell him to go and warm up!”