Veteran City striker Dion Dublin this morning pinned everyone's feet firmly to the floor and warned all concerned to avoid any hint of complacency in tomorrow night's home clash with Hull City.
Victory over the mid-table Tigers would propel the Canaries ever nearer the top six as the Norfolk side made the very most of Ched Evans' startling winner at Cardiff on Saturday with another huge, three points.
Defeat, however, and City could find themselves casting anxious glances over their shoulders again.
“It's up to us to keep that feeling of winning going,” said Dublin, with Norwich now on a three-game winning run. Or 12 games unbeaten, whichever you prefer.
“Remembering the feeling in the changing rooms after you win and after you lose – and knowing which one that you want.”
Closing that four point gap to the top six was, said Dublin, still a big ask. Particularly against teams like Hull that harboured realistic play-off hopes of their own. Dean Windass is unlikely to arrive in Norfolk tomorrow night with three points to give away.
“It's a lot of hard work to get to the play-offs; a lot of hard work – which we don't mind doing. But it's nowhere near really – in my eyes,” warned the 38-year-old. “I think we have to just keep winning; just keep nicking the points when we can. And let's talk about it when we actually get in there. We're not there yet.”
Inevitably, there will many more twists to the tale to come – both good and bad. Jamie Cureton's appendix operation came out of nowhere and was another example of never quite knowing what the Fates have in store around the next corner.
“What we don't want to do – and what the fans don't want to do – is to start to think that we just have to turn up to win a game. And the players can't think that either – or else we'll get a shock.
“And if we don't do as well, we could be not far off where we before. But the mentality has changed; fortune has changed. And there are still goals to be had this season; rewards to be had if we still keep on doing what we have been doing.”
As well as his teenage side-kick has done of late, Dublin also had a word of advice for the blossoming 19-year-old – that only by working hard at his game will the goals and the headlines continue to flow. Evans doesn't have too far to look at what happens when you take your eye off the ball.
Chris Martin was the bee's knees this time last year. On Saturday, he was back turning out again for Ricky Martin's Under-18s in a 4-1 defeat against West Ham United as Roeder's tough love regime continued to ask questions of the Beccles teenager.
“Ched is only going to score goals like that and is only going to play well and move on if he works as hard as he did on Saturday,” said Dublin, with Roeder likewise noting that the return to the Land of his Fathers appeared to give the Manchester City youngster that extra spring in his game.
“And he worked so hard that he deserved the wonder goal that he got,” said Dublin, whose little leave in the run-up to the first goal didn't go wholly unnoticed.
“The first goal was a very good team move and he put it away; the second goal as we all know was 30, 35 yards. And if you do score a goal like that, then I think the team deserves to win the game.”
And nor was he surprised that the youngster could rip the net from that distance. “I've seen Ched hit them before and I was hoping that he'd hit it, it'd bounce out to me and I'd put it in… and I'd nick some glory!
“But the manager was saying take it in the corner, keep hold of it, don't give it away – and he didn't do any of them. He put it in the back of the net, so I'm pleased for him.”
Compared to the feeling that was enveloping the club three, short months ago, Dublin admitted that it had – thus far – been a very good 2008 as he prepared to bring the curtain down on his 20-year professional football career. Saluting City's long-travelling fans at the end of Saturday's 2-1 win was another of those special little moments.
Form and, above all, fortune was smiling on the Carrow Road side.
“It is better and we've been very lucky in some of the games that we've played in,” said Dublin, with Southampton shuddering the City woodwork on three occasions before Norwich disappeared into the night with all three points.
“But I think out luck was long over-due. Performances have been OK; decent. But I think there is still more to offer in terms of individual performances and if we can keep this going… who knows? Who knows?”
Saturday's success was another big step towards a place in the top six and provided yet further evidence of the sea-change that has followed Glenn Roeder's arrival at the helm. Dublin certainly felt that Gavin Rae's half-time leveller would have floored lesser City sides.
“Last season we wouldn't have done that; earlier on in the season we wouldn't have done that – we would have crumbled,” he said. “But not this time.”
Having long announced his firm intention to swap his boots for a radio mike this summer, Dublin is well aware that the clocking is ticking down towards the end. But what an end it could still be. Could still be.
“It'd be nice to end the season, as a team, with something in the bag,” said Dublin, in the midst of his farewell tour to the Championship.
“I suppose you're looking at the games and thinking this is the last time I'm going to play at Barnsley, this is the last time I'm going to play at Cardiff.
“So I'm looking at it like that – that I'm not going to be going to those places that I've played at before again. That that's it – 15 games to go and it seems to be going quicker than I thought it would. And I'm going to savour it.”
It could, of course, be 18 games to go.
“It could be, but you said that…” he said with a smile. “15 for the moment, but hopefully 18….”
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