City boss Glenn Roeder isn't expecting anything different from visitors Plymouth this evening.
A change of manager since the last time the two teams met – less than short weeks ago – while not have changed the way the Pilgrims play at all, insisted Roeder.
They were, after all, still playing the Paul Sturrock way with Ian Holloway in charge. Sturrock's recent return to Home Park after Holloway's shock switch to Leicester City will have made little difference as the Canary boss plans to set the record straight in front of a Carrow Road full house tonight.
That 3-0 defeat at Home Park was Roeder's Canaries hitting rock bottom. Since then, the only way has been up. Even Saturday's last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Stoke City hasn't altered the new manager's firm belief that City are upwardly mobile again. As he intends to prove tonight.
?I think Sturrock and Olly (Ian Holloway) play very similar brands or styles of football,? said Roeder.
?And I don't think that Sturrock has to change anything – and I don't think he would want to. The team that Olly's fashioned there is very much in the style of the Paul Sturrock team that he left behind when he was there before, so I wouldn't think that he'd want to be doing too much tinkering.
?If it's not broken why try and fix it,? added the City chief, a point Sturrock proved on Saturday with the Pilgrims' easy 3-0 win over Scunthorpe – a result that lifted the West Country side into the play-off places.
If that result was vaguely predictable, one or two of late certainly haven't – most notably at the top of the table where both runaway leaders Watford and Charlton Athletic have stumbled alarmingly.
For someone who has spent the last decade watching the second tier of English football from the lofty heights of the Premiership, it has been a swift education for Roeder as to just what life entails in this wretched division.
?The one thing that I've come to terms with in the Championship is the inconsistencies of all the teams,? he said.
?I've gone on about Watford for the past month and then suddenly they've had three straight defeats. They were romping away with it and looked unbeatable.
?Charlton. Two home defeats. Now I'm looking at this league very seriously the inconsistencies of the teams is quite amazing. Everyone seems to be able to beat everyone on a given day.?
Finding any kind of winning rhythm is something that his new charges have to achieve over the course of the next six months. In fairness, since that fateful trip to Home Park Roeder has wrung a fairly consistent level of performance out of his troops – helped by the addition of such new faces as Matty Pattison, Mo Camara and Martin Taylor, plus the return of Dion Dublin from injury and Darren Huckerby from suspension.
All of whom are likely to figure large this evening. It will, therefore, be a much-changed Canary side that awaits the Pilgrims on their long-distance travels.
?A poor performance – I couldn't find any positives from the Plymouth performance and the players know that as well,? said Roeder, as he looked back on the lowest point of his short managerial reign.
?So it's a quick opportunity to see how much we've improved over the last few weeks.?
Improvement has started to come, though those two second-half goals against Stoke proved there was still plenty of work to be done in the area of defending the penalty box better after Leon Cort's free header 30 seconds after the re-start put the Potters back on track and the Canaries under a 45-minute long aerial onslaught.
?We obviously have to defend the delivery into the box better. They played it short; it came back; we should have squeezed up to the edge of the 18-yard box and from that delivery the guy that scores can't reach it. And it's safely in the hands of Marshy (David Marshall).
?We just dropped too deep. But they're the things that we need to still improve on. We defended the box better; we've squeezed the play better – but it just goes to show that we're not there yet.?
Whether 18-year-old Ched Evans is ready to make his first City start is one of the big questions facing the City chief tonight – tha and whether or not to grant Huckerby his second, successive start in a return to 4-4-2.
The on-loan Manchester City youngster was granted a 35-minute run-out at the Britannia Stadium this weekend and from what Roeder saw then and around the training ground since, he is clearly sorely tempted.
You wonder whether, however, singing the teenager's praises might be one way to keep top-scorer Jamie Cureton bang on his toes this evening.
?I watched him in training yesterday and he was fantastic. Really fantastic,? said Roeder, of the Welsh Under-21 striker.
?And you're as confident as you can be that when chances come his way, he'll take a high percentage of chances – if we can make him chances.
?And while he is with us, he will start games. Whether its on Tuesday night, we will have to wait and see. His first start is certainly coming closer.?
The other hope, said the manager, was that the Canaries continue to play with no fear; that they aren't caught looking over their shoulder at the abyss that still lies beneath their feet at the bottom of the Championship table.
?They didn't play with any thoughts that we're at the bottom of the table – and I do feel that's the way that we've got to carry on playing,? said Roeder.