All eyes and thoughts now turned to next weekend's Easter home clash with Colchester United as the Canaries 'flat' patch continued with a 2-0 defeat at Sheffield United.
With just one win in their last seven games and a third straight defeat for their troubles after today's events, the Norfolk side still have plenty of work to do if they are to avoid a nerve-jangling end to the season and helping the luckless Us on their way to League One next weekend if fast becoming a must.
All square at the interval, two goals in three minutes did all the damage as first Billy Sharp sent an Alex Pearce clearance beyond a wrong-footed David Marshall before Matthew Kilgallon was handed the freedom of the Canary penalty area to settle the issue in the 55th minute.
It was far from either a Coventry or a Leicester away performance-wise, but as the business end of the season looms results are everything. And right now, Norwich can't buy one.
As this afternoon's contest in a fog-shrounded Bramall Lane kicked off, so one thing swiftly became clear – don't pass the ball back to your keeper in a hurry. Not on this surface.
Jason Shackell was the one who almost learned that the hard way, as his first minute ball back to David Marshall duly bobbled awkwardly up at the Canary keeper's feet and his attempted clearance was shanked horribly wide and out to right-back berth where Jon Otsemobor had little opportunity to prevent David Carney from swinging an early cross back into the visitors' box.
With Marshall guilty of miscued throw out moments later it was a hesitant start from the City No1.
Worse almost followed in the eighth minute. Kilgallon had already hooked one half-chance just over before David Cotterill – he of transfer window no-show fame – crossed from the right and via a helping head from Gary Speed, so the ball dropped out to another of City's one-time targets – Sharp.
Little more than eight yards out and pretty much on his own, the former Scunthorpe striker fluffed his lines horribly as he scuffed an awful shot straight into a grateful Marshall's legs and the Canary keeper pounced on the ball at the second attempt.
As for the Canaries, a bit like the pitch, it was all a bit patchy. Darren Huckerby's first proper touch of the ball away on the right took the better part of ten minutes to arrive. When it did, he promptly lost his footing only to recover in time to feed Ched Evans whose hurried cross disappeared into the away end as Jamie Cureton broke into space in the middle.
Just to keep the nerves jangling, Rob Hulse could have done better with a 12th minute header that Marshall comfortably saved low to his right at Sharp lurked.
The game, briefly, lifted in quality in the 17th minute as Gibbs twisted away gloriously from his marker in the middle of the pitch on the back of a smart Matty Pattison flick and moved swiftly and sweetly through the gears as he headed goalward with the ball at his feet. Taking aim from some 20-yards out, it was an equally sweet strike – only for the ball to sweep against the stanchion behind Paddy Kenny's left upright.
It was the best moment of a brighter Norwich spell as Evans drilled a low effort straight at Kenny; Cureton slamming a second effort from a similar long distance against the substantial form of Blades skipper Chris Morgan.
Alex Pearce earned his spurs in the 26th minute as Michael Tonge delivered a superb free-kick in behind the City defence. With whip, bend and all sorts of dip, it was an invitation of the gilt-edged variety before Pearce arrived at the back; mopping up the obvious danger with an impeccably-timed intervention.
In between time – largely on the back of his failure to book Jason Shackell for a jarring challenge on Hulse – the League's youngest-ever referee, 22-year-old Michael Oliver, found himself less than welcome in South Yorkshire – until he did finally book the City centre-half for a relatively innocuous tackle on Sharp. The two would clash again minutes later with Sharp swinging a little punch as Shackell passed.
The 'action' was of the more traditional variety when Hulse rattled a post with a low, 22-yard drive; City's repsonse was immediate – Huckerby directing a decent effort into the side-netting from a similar range. Early storm survived, it was by now honours fairly even as half-time loomed – especially once Huckerby threaded Matty Pattison in on 41 minutes only for the South African to lift his head, rock back and blaze over.
Chance of the half, however, arrived two minutes later. Gibbs sold Bertrand horribly short in midfield; Cotterill leaped forward and his whipped cross looked tailor-made for Hulse to thump home at the far post. Thumping header it was – a foot wide of Marshall's right upright.
The second-half had started much like the first had ended with half little chances at either end until City's best-laid plans started to unravel in the 52nd minute. Cotterill dug a little cross into the Canary six-yard box which a stretching Pearce reached first ahead of Hulse. Alas his touch merely pinged the ball straight at a prowling Sharp who – be it by accident or design – managed to scuff a shot beyond a wrong-footed Marshall.
Three minutes later and it was getting close to 'Goodnight, City…' as Kilgallon was handed a free header deep in the City box from a David Carney corner. Two goals down, it was enough to have Roeder back on the touchline with plenty of work to do as United began to enjoy themselves.
Croft arrived just after the hour to try and give City some new, attacking momentum – in part it worked as Cureton pulled the ball back from Evans, whose low drive from some 15-yards out needed Kenny to make a scrambled save low to his left. Cureton would try his luck with a low bouncer in the 67th minute that was all-too comfortable for the United keeper.
With Gary Doherty on for Shackell, Evans delivered a venomous, 69th free-kick that Kenny – hands stinging – could only palm away to his left. There was a decent urgency to Norwich's play; they weren't 'flat' performance-wise. They were, however, 2-0 down and staring a third, straight defeat squarely in the face. Roeder's mood will not have been helped by seeing Fotheringham horribly mis-kick a half-chance away.
Sheffield United (4-4-2): Kenny; Geary, Morgan, Kilgallon, Naysmith; Cotterill, Speed, Tonge, Carney; Hulse (Stead, 77 mins), Sharp (Ehiogu, 89 mins). Subs (not used): Halls, Shelton, Gillespie.
Norwich City (4-4-2): Marshall; Otsemobor, Bertrand, Shackell (Doherty, 67 mins), Pearce; Huckerby, Fotheringham, Pattison, Gibbs (Croft, 61 mins); Cureton, Evans (Dublin, 77 mins). Subs (not used): Gilks, Camara.
Man of the Match: Alex Pearce.