If Canary supporters could ake nothing else from last night's 1-0 defeat against a promotion-hunting Stoke, they had one new name to play with – Luke Daley.
The 18-year-old Academy scholar was the subject of many a raised eye-brow in the Press room beforehand – that and more than the one 'Who?' as the Northampton-born teenager leap-frogged the likes of Chris Martin, Rob Eagle and the on-loan James Henry to nick a place on the bench for the Potters clash.
In fairness to Roeder, he is a young man in form having just bagged a hat-trick in the Academy Under-18s extraordinary 5-5 draw with their Leicester City counterparts at the weekend.
And while Martin has been in among the goals for the Reserves, it would appear that the Canary chief is tempted to set more store by events in that Under-18 league than whatever transpires against Grays Athletic Reserves in the Pontins Holiday Combination. That said, his current record of four goals from just six Reserve team starts speaks volumes. On paper.
“He's trained well with the first team,” explained Roeder last night, when quizzed about Daley's arrival in the spotlight.
“And he's got a squeak of a chance – no more than a squeak of a chance – of having a pro career, but the fact is that he's got a chance because he's got pace.”
Having made much of the physical requirements now demanded of players in the professional game in the run-up to last night's encounter with a duly strapping Stoke side, pace was something that figured large in Roeder's thoughts. Pace can lift you above the crowd. On-loan Chelsea starlet Ryan Bertrand has it in his locker; as well as much else besides.
Likewise, by hauling his clutch of Premiership youngsters in on-loan Roeder has long ago proved that age is no bar to his thinking; he would probably adhere to the current claim that if you aren't pushing for a first team place by the time you are 18-years-old, then you're never going to be pushing for a first team place. That's straight out of the Arsenal rule-book.
“He's a real youngster and obviously with a couple of players out at the moment and on the back of how well he's played recently in the Reserves and the youth team, he's been training with us and hasn't let himself down – so he made the bench. And he deserved that.”
Whether the Canaries deserved to be on the end of a second, straight home defeat against a side that looks perfectly positioned to nick one of the two automatic promotion slots is equally debatable.
On the level of the performance and the number of chances created, then the answer is 'No!' But as Roeder is well aware, it is goals that earn points and win prizes. And Stoke were the only team on the night to score a goal. Brutally effective they may have been, but that's the bottom line. It is effective. It wins games.
For Norwich, it was a case of looking at least three, gilt-edged chances missed whilst at the same time casting one, wary eye over the shoulder with the bottom three now just five points distant again.
Jamie Cureton's late stab wide of Carlo Nash's left-hand upright was the one that was freshest in Roeder's mind last night.
“Has he said anything? No, what can he say?” said Roeder, with Ched Evans also spurning a free header, 12-yards out as the home side battered the visitors in the game's final ten minutes.
“He's proved that at the right level he (Cureton) scores goals and he's had two brilliant chances in the second-half and you'd expect him to take at least one of those. If not both.”
And then there was Evans' free header. Slap bang in the middle of the goal, the teenager could not find either the power or the accuracy to unduly trouble Nash.
“I'm waiting for the ball to hit the back of the net,” said Roeder. “To be quite honest, if I wanted any chance to fall to any of the players that we've got in the squad, then I'd probably be quite happy for the chance to fall to Ched.
“Because in his career, he will prove to be a proven goalscorer. So it's quite surprising that he didn't generate quite that much power on the header,” said Roeder, who can look back now on a 1-0 defeat at Coventry that – by rights – should have been a 3-0, 4-0 defeat and another scoreline against Stoke that, by rights, should have been 2-1 or 3-1. But taking chances wins matches. And Norwich don't.
Stoke had one, real chance and took it as the Canaries failed miserably to deal with Rory Delap's 58th minute long-throw. “Generally speaking I thought Shackell and Pearce coped well – they didn't have too many chances. And it was a great experience for Pearce – a young lad that's still only a teenager to play against difficult opponents,” said Roeder, left to mull two contrasting performances over the last 96 hours – albeit with the same end result.
“We didn't deserve anything at Coventry; tonight we've shot ourselves in the foot – the performance deserved three points. It's frustrating to say the least to take nothing, but we've got to be very strong-minded and pick ourselves up quickly.”
Was he worried about the narrowing gap below as the Canaries now prepare for a tricky trip to Sheffield United on Saturday? No, was the swift and defiant answer.
“You might be, but I'm not. I only look forward. People who spend their life looking behind them, spend their life picking themselves up off the floor.”