Norwich City (4-4-2): Marshall; Bates, Doherty, Shackell, Camara; Croft, Russell, Fotheringham, Bertrand; Evans, Dublin. Subs (from): Gilks, Otsemobor, Pearce, Huckerby, Pattison.
As ever, it was a case of Canary boss Glenn Roeder working out just how seven into five might fit…
And the answer for this lunchtime's Championship clash with Cardiff City was to leave the two, 18-year-olds – James Henry and Kieran Gibbs – in the stands and had Matthew Bates his first full start at right-back as Jon Otsemobor found himself named among the substitutes.
And just to prove that he wasn't wholly out in the cold in potentially his farewell season in Norfolk, there was Darren Huckerby taking his place on the bench.
Making up this weekend's 'Famous Loan Five' were Bates, Mo Camara at left-back, Ryan Bertrand on the left-hand side of midfield and Ched Evans alongside Dion Dublin up front.
The fifth and final slot belonged to Reading centre-half Alex Pearce who, Roeder revealed yesterday, had impressed all week in training. He would have both Messrs Doherty and Shackell firmly on their toes.
For the luckless Gibbs and Henry, there was the consolation of a mid-week run-out with the England Under-19s against Croatia in which the latter, in particular, had shone.
Whether or not the City chief had sweetened this weekend's pill with the promise of an appearance against Hull City at home next Tuesday night will be interesting to see; the home-grown Chris Martin clearly has more to prove to the new City chief that he is worth a look on the bench.
Roeder's respect for the standard of Pontins Combination Reserve team football doesn't help the Beccles' teenager's cause.
For the Bluebirds, boasting the best current home form in the division, their threat will come from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. No surprise to see Robbie Fowler notable only in his absence from Dave Jones' plans.