In-demand City defender Martin Taylor will think long and hard about his footballing future over the next 48 hours as D-Day looms for the on-loan Canary centre-half.
The 28-year-old left Carrow Road yesterday sporting two bottles of bubbly – one for his latest Man of the Match efforts in the 1-0 win over Sheffield United, the other for picking up the Anglian November Player of the Month award before kick-off.
Both awards tell their own story – of just how many hopes and fears now rest on Taylor's thinking.
One thing is, at least, certain. He has no long-term future at Birmingham City; new boss Alex McLeish wasted little time in making that very clear.
“Am I staying? I don't know – I've got a couple of days to mull it over,” said the 'Tiny' six-foot four-inch defender, whose one-month loan didn't officially end with that final appearance against the Blades.
All parties now have a couple of days grace in which to at least try and pin Taylor down to a second month's loan spell – something that would take him into the heart of the January transfer window when all things are possible.
As City boss Glenn Roeder revealed on Friday, Norwich might be in the box seat for his services, but he has at least two other Championship clubs on his trail. He is, you suspect, the type of player that would tick most of Neil Warnock's boxes at Palace.
Hence the huge interest in what happens next; hence Taylor's desire to see exactly what his options are as he reaches a big crossroads in his footballing career.
“I've got to think about both my short and long-term, really, because I've been told by Birmingham that I'm not really going to feature there, so I've got to decide what I'm going to do from now until January and then what I'm going to do in January,” he said.
“So I'll take a bit of time to decide that and come up with the answer next week.”
That he is sorely tempted to stay put seems reasonable enough to presume. “I've enjoyed my time here; got on really well with the lads; the fans are incredible; it's really good club that, hopefully, won't go down.”
The fact that McLeish has been so swift to close the door on the one-time Blackburn Rovers youngster has caught one or two people by surprise – Taylor included.
“He's said that if I ever go back there I'm not going to feature; that I'll be down the list of centre-halves. So obviously if I want to play football I need to be looking elsewhere.
“And I want to know that; that's being truthful. I don't want to be going back there saying 'No!' to a good team like Norwich and sitting in the reserves again. So I'm glad that I know that now and I can use that now to decide what I'm going to do.”
Roeder knows exactly what Norwich need to do now – smash six-inch nails through his boots and nail him down – anything to make sure he doesn't move an inch from the heart of that rebuilt Canary defence.
“We're in talks with Martin – and Birmingham as well,” said City chief after yesterday's latest home success, who since that dismal 3-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle has seen his new charges rack up four wins from their last five games. And all with Taylor at their heart.
For now, however, Roeder was not saying too much as to where, exactly, those talks were.
“Fingers crossed that when we do have something to say, it'll be something positive because it's very important that we keep him at the club,” said the City chief, all eyes now on the board and how many stops they will pull out to keep Taylor in Norfolk. Each and every stop, if Roeder has his way.
“There is a potential in there, beyond a loan, to sign him permanently. He's certainly proved his worth in the Championship last year at Birmingham City where he was a major part of the team that won promotion.”
Whilst keen on all of his loan signings, Taylor remained the one with the greatest degree of urgency attached.
“Martin is the one that we need to find out about quickest,” said the City chief, after watching his man keep the Championship's top marksman James Beattie firmly under wraps.
“Particularly against James Beattie – the Championship's leading scorer – I thought he kept him superbly quiet. I can't think of Beattie having too much influence on the game.
“That wasn't because he wasn't trying hard – he always gives 100 per cent; he gives everything – I think it was more about Martin Taylor's performance, well supported by Shackell.”
The other performance that was on everyone's lips afterwards was that of the far linesman who ruled James Kilgallon's injury-time header offside – a big, big call. Taylor, like nigh-on 25,000 others in the rain at Carrow Road – thought Norwich had been dealt a real late heart-breaker.
“I really thought it was a legitimate goal – you're disappointed; you see them run off. But then you look across at the linesman and we got the little bit of luck that we needed,” said Taylor.
“I'm not sure whether it was offside or not. I'm sure it was a close call and they'll not be happy with it – but we're absolutely elated to have the three points.”
And with Colchester United and Scunthorpe next on the agenda, City have every chance of pushing on again into that crucial Christmas and New Year schedule – particularly now that they are out of the drop zone.
“It's such a difference to the one point – and psychologically, to get us out of the bottom three,” said City's man of the moment.
“We're out of the bottom three and we can now look forward to two games against teams that are down there with us when we can really kick on and, hopefully, move further up the table.”