Before the game at Leicester last week, I reasoned that City's next three games would in all probability decide their play-off fate one way or the other.
Supporters had understandably stared to turn their attentions to the team occupying sixth place in the table, as with the Canaries extending their unbeaten run week-on-week and showing no obvious signs that they were about to fall flat on their faces, and the gap between Norwich and the top six accordingly ever narrowing, the unthinkable suddenly became a very real, if yet still unlikely, possibility.
After the events at the Walkers Stadium last week though, and on inspection of the Coca-Cola Championship league table afterwards it revealing an almost cavernous nine-point gap to the top six once again as opposed to what would have been deemed a decidedly miniscule six points left to breach beforehand, I'd suggest that anything other than three points for the Canaries at Carrow Road tomorrow and they can kiss goodbye to their play-offs hopes once and for all.
City boss Glenn Roeder won't be too concerned with points targets and tallies for the time being though, as the one thing that will be at the forefront of his mind will be to select a team that can get the job done tomorrow and perform more in keeping with the standards that have been set here in recent months as opposed to what can only best be described as a decidedly off-day by the majority of players in yellow shirts last Saturday.
For any one or more of a number of reasons City simply never got into their stride last week, but considering that Roeder's selection options are severely limited tomorrow due to the unavailability of several of his key players, the task of sending out a well-balanced and adequately strong side isn't going to be the easiest of tasks.
One person conspicuous by his absence last week was Darren Huckerby, and whether or not he will get the nod from the manager tomorrow after not even making it onto the team bus for the trip to Leicester last week remains to be seen.
Based purely on form and ability to impact on a game, despite Huckerby not presently performing to the levels or with the consistency that he once did, he's clearly still got enough left in his locker to do a job at this level.
After all, even if he might not be 100% fit or is only ?half performing? to the standards that we know he is capable of, Huckerby can still be as influential as plenty of other players in this division.
More than anything else though, the one thing that Roeder will be hoping for tomorrow is that their substandard performance at Leicester last week will provoke a positive reaction from the Canaries – regardless of who he selects – and if it produces only half the response as did their previous ignominy at Plymouth then there'll certainly be no complaints.
When the two teams met at Oakwell last month the Canaries delivered one of their best 45 minute periods of football this season.
After an unconvincing and sluggish opening period Norwich simply blew Barnsley away after half-time, and the 3-1 scoreline in City's favour actually flattered Simon Davey's team.
That victory can be put into perspective when you consider that Barnsley have only lost one other game on their own patch in the league to date all season, and many Barnsley supporters still harbour play-off hopes for their team this year.
With just one win to their name from sixteen matches though – the lowest in the division – it's fair to say that the Tykes haven't been quite so impressive away from home, but there is the small matter of their victory against Liverpool at Anfield in the FA Cup last Saturday, and if nothing else it will certainly have boosted their confidence sky-high.