Football being the brutal and unforgiving business that is, the phrase 'One man's pain being another man's gain…' certainly rang very true for one man at Colney this morning.
First and foremost, however, City full-back Jon Otsemobor had every sympathy for the departed Matthew Bates who was returned to sender this week after rupturing the cruciate knee ligaments in his left joint for the second time in six months.
But having watched the on-loan Middlesbrough defender steal his thunder in that City back four, Otsemobor would not be human if he didn't somewhere, right at the back of his mind, think that oppportunity now knocked loud and clear again.
Starting at Leicester City with a sell-out, 3,000-strong Canary following in tow.
So one man's heart-break was just the kind of spring break that a certain 24-year-old needed.
“I only found out the other day exactly what he'd done,” said Otsemobor, who duly took said opportunity with both hands on Tuesday night with an accomplished 30-minute run-out following Bates' unfortunate exit.
“And I believe he's done that injury once or twice before, so in that case I feel very sorry for him and I just hope he comes back even stronger and has a speedy recovery.”
Given that that rebuilt left knee took only a handful of Championship outings to go again after first rupturing in the pre-season friendly at Darlington, Bates could yet struggle to re-appear before the start of next August by which stage the world will have moved on again in Norfolk.
Otsemobor's spell on the bench did, of course, have a second purpose. It wasn't wholly an issue of form; there was the lingering fitness issue with that sore Achilles.
Given the “cabbage patch” (in Glenn Roeder's own words) that awaits at the Walkers Stadium tomorrow, it is in for a rough old ride. Which may explain why the manager was thinking of possible alternatives – in particular, 19-year-old Reading centre-half Alex Pearce.
“It's still feeling the same,” said Otsemobor, with rest seemingly the only cure. “I don't think for this season the symptoms are going to go away.
“I spoke to the physio and he said that I'll recover properly when I get the time off come the end of the season, so it's still the same situation for me. I'm taking the pain-killers before training and before games – just getting on with it, basically.”
Given wait awaits, he may well be advised slipping in an extra pain-killer tomorrow. The pitch will do his Achilles no favours. Or, indeed, anyone's hope for a sweet, free-flowing game of football.
“I've seen the pitch on the TV the other day and it doesn't look the best of pitches, but to be fair once kick-off goes you tend not to think about it. Regardless of whether you're carrying an Achilles injury or whatever injury you've got. You just tend to concentrate on the game.”
He certainly showed few ill effects in the midst of that second-half run-out last Tuesday night as he slotted straight back into that right-hand role with his long-time partner in crime, Lee Croft.
“I just wanted to influence the game as much as I can, ie by getting on the ball and getting forward, etc, etc, etc,” said the one-time Liverpool trainee.
“And I felt I'd done that. It was just unfortuante that the result never went our way.”
Given City's recent away record, that bumper away following – Norwich's previous best was the 1700 that travelled to the shambles that was Charlton Athletic (a) – will be travelling in hope of another Cardiff-stroke-Southampton like success as the Canaries look to stretch their unbeaten run to 14 games.
So what's changed? It would have been a very brave soul that travelled to Plymouth (a) three short months ago with any sort of hope in their heart.
“I don't think there's much of a change,” said the City full-back. “I just think it's the belief and the confidence in the players – regardless of whether we're playing home or away. We're going into games now thinking that we're not going to get beat. And I think that's the major difference.”
Did Bates' exit make a difference? No, it seems. The fact that Roeder pointed to Pearce's availability at right-back merely left Otsemobor with another reason to stay firmly on his toes; just as Croft has with Master Henry pacing up and down the sidelines.
“All the lads, every day in training, have got to prove themselves,” he said.
“I know with Matthew being here it put extra pressure on me playing well when I started and, obviously, in training. But whether Matthew is here or not, I don't think that's going to change the way that I play my games. And the way that I go about training.
“And there's still other players in the squad that can play in my position, so I feel that if I wasn't playing well or I wasn't pulling my weight then the gaffer wouldn't take two seconds to leave me out of the team. Or leave me out of the squad and put someone else there. So I don't think it made much of a difference whether Matthew was here or not.”