City winger Lee Croft spoke for at least 3,000 others when he admitted that kissing good-bye to that unbeaten, 13-game run with a 4-0 humbling at the hands of relegation-threatened Leicester City was probably not what anyone would have wished.
Certainly not as far as the largest away following since Fulham (a) some three years ago were concerned as the Canaries manged to rustle up another one of their real, away-day specials for this weekend's big day out.
“We're disappointed,” said the 22-year-old Croft, speaking to Radio Norfolk after yesterday's disaster.
For if the scoreline were not bad enough, the fact that Norwich now head into next weekend's home clash with FA Cup heroes Barnsley three players short after Darel Russell, Dion Dublin and skipper Mark Fotheringham all left the Walkers Stadium with two one-match bans and a three-game suspension between them merely added to the fun and games.
“We didn't want the unbeaten run to go and to lose in that fashion – to lose by four goals and get a player sent off – it's disappointing.”
There wasn't much at either end of the pitch to commend yesterday's game. Ched Evans displayed a fabulous piece of forward skill to chest a Croft cross away and behind his marker only to half-hit the subsequent volley; Croft would offer the odd trick or two on an unfamiliar left-hand role; David Marshall would produce a couple of fine stops before the break.
That, however, was pretty much it. The big downside was Russell's second-half dismissal for a late and two-footed challenge on Foxes' full-back Richard Stearman. Carried off on a stretcher, Leicester boss Ian Holloway would afterwards suggest that it wasn't as bad as it first looked; what looks even worse, however, is the midfielder's three-match ban for violent conduct. That doesn't look big or clever at all.
“Defensively we conceded a few sloppy goals which is not what we've building our success on – we've been looking solid,” said Croft, as he looked back at the 'lowlights' of yesterday's efforts on what was, indeed, a “cabbage patch” of a pitch.
“You can make excuses about the pitch – you can make as many excuses as you want – but the fact is that we didn't perform today,” said Croft, with typical honesty.
Longer-term City watchers kind of always felt that something like this might be lurking in the long grass; most, however, expected the first big bump in the road for three, remarkable months to arrive at Cardiff last weekend. That was the bonus; three points from Ninian Park.
Be it last week or this, most guessed that when Norwich did hit said bump, it would be big and bruising. The Norfolk club never doing anything by halves.
“It does come as a shock because at the moment we dodn't expect to get beat,” Croft told Radio Norfolk listeners.
“But it's happened now and we've just got to try and get back on another run like the one that we've been on,” he added. “You're not going to win every game, so it's important to just put this behind us.”
Croft himself had something of a curious game, being switched from right-wing to left and then back again as City boss Glenn Roeder first looked to get Reading youngster James Henry involved in the game and then tried to nick the single goal it might have taken to have both Leicester players and supporters doubting.
“I'll do whatever job the gaffer wants me to do,” he said. “We weren't as fluent as we have been and then with the sending off we're chasing shadows, really.”
Not that Croft was about to pass judgement on Russell's red card.
“It's not for me to comment really. Maybe the referee has deemed that he went in two-footed or studs showing I don't know; and whether Darel will appeal against it, we'll just have to wait and see.”
Given that Roeder suggested that the player himself – albeit with the benefit of a replay – had conceded that it was late and not exactly near the ball suggests an appeal might not be forthcoming; that the three-match ban will stick.
It was all back to earth with one considerable thump after all the heroics of the last three months.
“We know that there's no easy games in this division, but we still think that we've got the quality to be up there, but it's a consistency thing,” he said.
“We've been lucky enough to go a great run, so perhaps this is a reality check. You can't take results for granted; you've got to earn them. And there are no easy games in this division – and that's proven it today.”