Another small step for Glenn Roeder; another giant leap for Norwich City Football Club.
For while this evening's 2-1 win over play-off chasing Plymouth Argyle might not have proved the prettiest game to ever grace Carrow Road, few of the sell-out crowd would have cared once they clocked tonight's Championship table.
For there are QPR, not Norwich, propping up the rest. Nine points from the last 12 have thrown that particular monkey off the Norfolk club's back – now to drag themselves out of the bottom three.
“It's very good to get off the bottom,” said Roeder, after watching Ched Evans' third minute strike and Darren Huckerby's 87th minute penalty seal the points for the home side.
“What would be even better is if we don't slip back there again for the rest of the season – that we now start to make progress up the table slowly, but surely.”
City could haul themselves out of the bottom three completely on Saturday if they can produce a third straight home win against Sheffield United. For his part, Roeder wasn't promising any instant fixes. His job has only just begun and supporters better brace themselves for the long haul.
“I said when I came here that this wasn't going to be solved in a month. I've been in this position many times and we're going to go through the whole winter on a roller-coaster ride.
“But I've always been confident that we will secure our position in the Championship come the end of the season and I haven't seen anything different since I've been here to change my mind.”
Minus the suspended pair of Darel Russell and Gary Doherty, Roeder will be forced to change tonight's winning team come the weekend – one that tonight found 18-year-old Evans partnering Jamie Cureton in a new-look front two and, more intriguingly still, Mark Fotheringham skippering the side in the absence of the “rested” Jason Shackell.
Shackell will step straight back into the side for the visit of the Blades. Whether the armband will return is something, said Roeder, that he will “sleep on” over the next couple of days.
“We had to have a change tonight because I just rested Shackell,” revealed Roeder.
“And I'll think about that over the next days – whether to give the captaincy back to him. He's a young man still; it's his first season as captain; it can be a massive weight on a young player's shoulders,” said Roeder.
“But he's never let the club down as captain; he's never let me down as captain. But I'll sleep on that for a few nights.”
Fotheringham himself is only 24, but from a distance appears to be much more of a talker. It was his burning enthusiasm for the game; that passion; that overwhelming desire to win that persuaded Roeder to give the one-time Celtic starlet the nod.
“Since he's come back from injury anyone who has seen us play has seen a player that has got incredible drive and determination.”
Fotheringham was, at one stage, not expected to be back playing again before Christmas following that ankle ligament injury sustained in the home win against Southampton in the middle of August. Tonight was only his fourth league start, but he clearly fits into the way that Roeder wishes his team to play.
With a big heart, for example.
“In his own mind as a human being he only sees winning – Mark has definitely got the attitude that I like. Like I said about the Australians – first is first, second is nowhere. Second doesn't come into Mark's way of thinking.
“So when I looked across the back four and across the midfield, he was the obvious person to lead the team tonight while Shackell was rested.”
Handed that dream start in the shape of Evans' third minute opener, Norwich were endebted to two, big saves from David Marshall for keeping that lead intact at the break.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake also managed somehow to head a 44th minute corner over the bar from about two-yards out.
Come the restart and the introduction of Lee Croft presented Cureton with the chance of the night in the 68th minute, only for City's top scorer to lift the ball over a nigh-on open goal from some ten-yards out.
His blushes were saved by Huckerby's late penalty after Paul Connolly clattered into the City winger. Pilgrims boss Paul Sturrock would complain bitterly afterwards that referee Paul Taylor had got it wrong; Huckerby himself got it very right from the spot for his second goal in as many games.
And that should have been that.
For Roeder must have been virtually alone in not expecting the very worst come injury time once Plymouth centre-half Krisztian Timar had headed home an 89th minute corner home and put the Pilgrims within sight of snatching a point.
“When they scored all it did was to sharpen the concentration levels of the players again and made sure that we got over the winning line,” he said, not impressed at the manner in which the Canaries conceded a goal from another set-play.
And all coming seconds after a re-start – just it did with Leon Cort's opener for Stoke on Saturday. Certain old habits are dying hard.
“It was a horrible goal; a sloppy goal – not an acceptable goal for where we want to go. But had it been 1-0 I'm sure the concentration would have been that good that they would have picked up properly; we would have dealt with it and we would have won the game 1-0.”
For the 25,000 City supporters present tonight, 2-1 and 23rd would still do.