City forgotten man Simon Lappin last night declared himself happy to stay in Norfolk and fight for his place – even though Glenn Roeder's ruthless January clearout has accounted for four of his former team-mates.
The Scottish defender-cum-midfielder has only been named in the squad on two occasions ? both times as an unused substitute – since that fateful trip to Plymouth back in November and the writing has looked on the wall for the man brought in a year ago from St. Mirren for ?75,000.
What makes it worse is that four fellow Peter Grant signings on show in Devon that day ? David Strihavka, Julien Brellier, Chris Brown and Ian Murray ? have all been shown the door since.
With Lappin seemingly out of favour and left-sided rivals Mo Camara and Ryan Bertrand set for a Carrow Road tour of duty until the summer at least, it would be logical to think that the 24-year-old will be the next name to leave the door marked 'exit!'
But Lappin is prepared to knuckle down and fight his way back into Roeder's plans. He's certainly not giving up this one without a fight?
“I'm very happy here,” said Lappin, speaking to myfootballwriter.com after last night's 1-1 reserve draw with Colchester United.
“Obviously I would like to be playing, that's when you are happiest but it's a fantastic club, the facilities are second to none and I want to be a part of it.
“I'm training away and working hard ? that's all I can do. If I keep working hard and performing in the reserve games then we'll see what happens. I'll just keep my head down and get on with things.
“Whether the manager wants me to be a part of it, we'll have to wait and see. But I'll keep working hard in training and in games when I'm called upon and we'll see where it takes me.”
What the future holds for Lappin, only time will tell, but he will no doubt be glad to get 90 minutes under his belt after a stint at left-back against the U's second string at Carrow Road last night.
He was solid, if not spectacular, in front of the watching Roeder but with his last outing coming against Ipswich reserves six weeks ago, a 90 minute shift was just what was needed to blow those cobwebs away. It's been a long time coming?
“It was just good to get a game under my belt again. It has been about six weeks since the last reserve game against Ipswich, which isn't ideal, but I was glad to get a run-out as I'm quite short of match fitness.
“My general fitness is ok but the match fitness only comes with playing games and as I said, we've not played for six weeks so it was good to get out there again.
“I thought I did ok, there are things to work on but the main thing for me was to get the 90 minutes and get my fitness back up.
“I prefer to play in midfield, I've said all along that I prefer to play there but I've been called upon to play left-back at times. If the manager sees me in his plans to play in the team, I'll play anywhere and I'll give my all if I get given the chance.”
Lappin's next chance to impress – barring a first-team call-up – will come against Grays Athletic next Wednesday in a rearranged Pontins Combination clash and the City second-string will have been happy to have stopped the rot last night against their Essex counterparts.
A 5-1 drubbing at the hands of East Anglian neighbours Ipswich was the Canaries' last reserve outing but there were no signs of a derby repeat last night ? despite Michael Spillane's second successive red card for the second-string.
Paul Stephenson's young side ? of whom only Lappin, Spillane, Robert Eagle and Chris Martin had had any real first-team experience ? dominated the first-half against a Teddy Sheringham-led Colchester.
They went in one goal to the good through a stunning right-footed Robert Eagle shot from outside the box but could, and should, have made more of their superiority.
The second-half was a lot more even as City ? who gave Liverpool trialist Lee Peltier a chance to impress ? faded and Jamie Guy netted a deserved equaliser eight minutes after the break. Peltier was as guilty as anyone and after a promising first 45 minutes, he was largely anonymous in the second period and did little to convice Roeder and Co to snap him up. It remains to be seen whether the defender, who has spent this season on-loan at Yeovil, will get another opportunity to shine.
Spillane's dismisssal came in the 72nd minute for a sliding tackle on Guy, but, despite the recent clampdown on so-called dangerous challenges, City will be hoping it is rescinded, as Stephenson revealed afterwards.
The young Irishman actually won the ball so they should have a case but in the current climate, nothing can be taken for granted and any ban would certainly be a blow for the Cambridge-born player, who is finally starting to threaten those first-team places.
City (4-4-2): Arnold, Peltier, Cave-Brown, Spillane, Lappin; Ross Kelly (Smith 75), Rossi Jarvis, Lathrope (Halliday 75), Eagle; Martin, Daley (Miller 87). Subs not used: Rudd, Bexfield.