Stand-in City skipper Darel Russell heads into battle tomorrow determined to right a few autumn wrongs – in particular, that wretched 3-0 defeat at Molineux.
For many, you can forget Plymouth (a) or even Queen's Park Rangers (a). If you want a performance that stank to high heaven, the away game at Wolves was the one that reeked of the manager's days being numbered.
Three months and a new manager later and Russell still shudders at the memory – it was a performance that clearly hurt his professional pride.
?It was absolutely disgusting,? said Russell, with a very forceful choice of words. he wasn't exactly wide of the mark. It was one of the biggest no-shows of recent memory and by the time that both Jason Shackell and Julien Brellier had been sent off, it was the kind of shambles from which managers rarely recover.
?For the fans and the players that really wanted to be out there it was horrible,? added the City midfield star.
?You had the two sendings offs and just this lack of drive and lack of fight. It was disheartening to go back into the dressing room feeling that because I always try and put as much effort in as I can do.
?And a few people didn't put it in that day. Hopefully, we've now got a chance to rectify that in front of our home fans.
?And for the ones that travelled down there, hopefully, we can put a good show on and get a good result.?
From the wreckage of the Peter Grant regime, Russell is fast emerging with his reputation well intact.
New boss Glenn Roeder has regularly mentioned City's ?500,000 summer arrival in despatches and was delighted with the way that Russell and his latest midfield partner Matty Pattison dug in against the Addicks – be it against the 11 men or the ten, Russell was rarely far from the action.
?I'm feeling better as the weeks have been going on,? said Russell, appearing one of life's perfectionists given his thoughts on his performances before Boxing Day's man of the match efforts.
?I thought the last three games before this one, I was slightly off the boil a little bit but it was nice to come back with a bang with this one.?
Certainly, there was little or no disputing his man of the match efforts against the Addicks as Russell crowned a typically, whole-hearted outing with his first goal of the season. He also did well to finish the game with his ankle intact after being on the wrong end of Sam Sodje's ugly, two-footed lunge.
The initial impression that he had covered virtually every blade in the Canary cause was merely confirmed this morning by a trip to the ProZone lair of 'Liam Lap-top' – the Canaries' own performance analyst.
?I do like to like at the statistics because it's quite interesting to see those times when you maybe think you've not done too well, what the stats actually say.
?And they've been pretty good so far, so I've been pleased with them,? said Russell, about to reveal just exactly how far he did run against the ten-man Addicks.
?It was twelve-and-a-half kilometres,? said the Canary midfielder. ?Second best to Zheng Zhi on their team.
?I never thought I ran that far, but that's probably about an average for me,? said Russell. That figure was just the distance he ran; other stats can be even more instructive.
?It's frightening how detailed it can be – how far you've run, how many passes you've completed,? he said. ?It tells you how far you've walked, when you're standing still – there's no hiding any more. You can't get away with anything!?
Little wonder that Roeder is such a fan of the ?150,000 system. ?If you're not working hard then the gaffer can call up the stats and pull you up on it.
?You can't live and die by it, but overall it gives an interesting angle on the game.?
It didn't necessarily need a machine to tell the one-time City youth product that he was improving with every game; that a stop-start pre-season with Stoke City had been blown out of his system; that he was now firing on all cylinders.
?I've been feeling good, but you're only as good as your last game – so I've got to try and take it on to the next one and the next one.
?For me, it's just about that consistency – and adding goals to what I've been doing so far. Hopefully, now I've got myself off the mark I can add a few more.?
Tomorrow's Wolves rematch will also find Russell up against one of the more imposing, phsyical characters in this division – the six-foot four-inch Nigerian, Seyi Olofinjana.
Interestingly, Russell brackets him with ex-Canary star Dickson Etuhu as two of the toughest nuts to crack in the Championship.
?Without a doubt, he and Dickson are probably two of the strongest midfielders that I've ever played against – big, powerful units. Great running. Really, you've just got to try and catch them when they're off-balance – they're big guys and they work very hard,? said Russell.
As, of course, do Roeder's reborn Canaries. They don't go down these days without a good fight – a fight that, of late, has earned them points against both Colchester United and Charlton Athletic. Games that would have been lost some eight short weeks ago.
?We've got good habits at the minute – we're in a winning habit. We've got that good habit now of not being beaten,? said Russell.
?We're pretty resiliant and we're showing that even when we go behind, we've got enough in our locker to come back and fight with the boys at the top of the league.?