It wasn't too hard to find someone full of festive good cheer after yesterday's trip to the Palace – returning City skipper Mark Fotheringham was wreathed in smiles as his New Year kicked off with an excellent away point.
“It's just disappointing that we never took the win,” said Fotheringham, his usual busy self in the middle of that Canary midfield.
Out for the back-to-back home clashes with Charlton Athletic and Wolves with that little hamstring niggle, Jimmy Smith's return to Chelsea and Glenn Roeder's decision to leave Darren Huckerby tucked up his sleeve on the bench all left the way open for Fotheringham to walk back into the starting line-up.
Coincidence or not, but Norwich would produce a far more fluent performance – one full of both invention and chances as they took the contest to the Championship's form team.
“I thought the lads showed a great attitude again today – and all against a team that have been flying recently,” said Fotheringham.
Though Darel Russell's second goal in three games would give Roeder's charges a well-deserved 1-0 lead at the break, it could – if not should – have been more as Dion Dublin, Jamie Cureton and the impressive Lee Croft all went close to extending Norwich's advantage in what proved to be an entertaining and open contest against Neil Warnock's charges.
The latter didn't have a bad word to say about anyone afterwards – his cordial New Year relations a stark contrast to other afternoons where feelings have run all too high between the former Sheffield United manager and Canary management and supporters.
“Neil Warnock said to me afterwards that it was two good teams out there and that he'd really enjoyed the game as well,” said Fotheringham. “And we've just enjoyed playing in the game – we're just disappointed that we've never won.
“I think we were the better team in the first-half and we came out in the second-half and knew that we had to start well because there's been a few games in which we've not started well. So we wanted to get out of the traps quick, but it was just unfortunate to lose the goal – but these things happen.”
A little too often for most people's liking as Clinton Morrison was handed all the time and space he ever needed to meet Ben Watson's 50th minute free-kick and gently flick it beyond a stranded David Marshall.
“We'll look at the videos and we'll work on it next week again,” promised the City skipper, clearly delighted to be back on centre stage after his recent two-game absence.
“It was really frustrating – these are the games that you want to be playing in as a footballer because Wolves and Charlton are two really good sides and I think everybody saw that they've got players that are more than capable of playing in the Premiership and those are the lads that you want to test yourself against,” said Fotheringham, swift to praise those that had held the fort in his absence.
“I thought Darel Russell was outstanding and led the team really well; I thought Matty Pattison was superb,” he said, after adding his craft to their unending graft.
“I think we've got a really good mix in there and I really hope that we're going to keep Pattison.”
That's the next big question ahead of Saturday's FA Cup third round clash with League Two Bury – just which of the four loan faces will be back on duty at Carrow Road.
The understanding always was that Pattison has always had a full-time deal within easy reach. Provided Toon Army boss Sam Allardyce plays ball valuation-wise, the South African-born Geordie could be a fully-fledged Canary by the time the Shakers arrive in Norfolk.
There is no hint yet that either Mo Camara, Ched Evans or Smith will pen full-time deals; every hint that all three will return on extended loan deals as the three return to their full-time employers for 48 crucial hours of talks.
The cup clash, says Fotheringham, is simply just another chance to play football together. It's as straight-forward as that, according to the new Norwich skipper.
“The lads are just really enjoying it at the moment. We love working with Glenn (Roeder), Clarky (Lee Clark) and Stevo (Paul Stephenson) and we're all looking forward to the Bury game.
“We've been getting superb attendances; the fans have been really getting behind us at the moment. But it's really important, as Glenn has just said, that we keep putting in performances – as well as getting the results,” said Fotheringham, one of those footballers who was always designed to entertain.
Yesterday's third successive 1-1 draw – coupled to results elsewhere – still found the Canaries only one point out of the drop zone. Not, on paper, the most comfortable positions to be in at the turn of the year.
But with Norwich now on a seven-game unbeaten run and Roeder in bull-ish mood transfer-wise as the January transfer window opens for business, so the feeling remains that the Canaries have enough wind in their sails to reach some calmer waters before the season is out.
“We know it's going to be tough, but as I've said before I think it's going to be quite exciting as well because it's so tight,” said Fotheringham. “And it's amazing when you look at it – we're only just half-way through the season so we've got another half to go and there's a long way to go.
“We feel confident right now and we're just loving all the games. We all just like eachother as players and we're all enjoying eachother's company. It's a good group to be in.”
Something, you suspect, Fotheringham might not have said at, say, Wolves away.