City boss Glenn Roeder revealed that his increasingly urgent quest to bolt some more goals into his flat-lining side had, for now, drawn a big fat blank.
For the third game in a row the Canaries failed to find the net in Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Sheffield United – a result that left them sat all-too precariously three points off the drop zone.
And while there were elements to the performance that offered encouragement, the bottom line remain unchanged – that if you don't score goals, you don't win matches.
And if the Norfolk side don't win many more matches between now and the end of the season then we could all find ourselves back where Roeder's reign first started five months ago.
“I've been looking for the last two weeks,” said the City chief, after Saturday's latest troubling defeat.
“But no-one wants to lend their players – and that's the bottom line. I will carry on trying this week to get a manager or two to release one or two of their players, but there aren't too many other players going out on loan either. So it's not as if I'm missing anybody.”
One or two previously mentioned names have, likewise, found their way back into favour. West Ham United striker Bobby Zamora is an obvious one. For having not played a game for five months as first injury and then Carlton Cole intervened, the 27-year-old one-time Canary youth player has found his way back into Alan Curbishley's affections and played the full 90 minutes in the Hammers' 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers this weekend.
Whether Roeder could persuade one of his Premiership managerial pals to release a player on the way back from injury is a possibility. But as the Canaries discovered with the luckless Matthew Bates, that policy comes with risks attached.
Given the potentially intense nature of the next seven weeks, whether the Canary boss would wish to add another untested youngster to his pack is another moot point.
But someone, somewhere has to start converting the chances that Norwich are still creating; do that and everyone could start to sleep slightly easier at night.
“Of course I'm worried about missing chances that we should be scoring because the chances are quite simple for players playing at this level,” he said, with a Matty Pattison blaze over the bar and Darren Huckerby's side-foot into the side-netting being the two latest examples. In fairness to both, they are far from alone – it is a collective inability to turn some half-decent performances into points on the door that is costing the Carrow Road club so dear.
“Hucks had a great chance to pass the ball into the net; he passed it wide. And other half-chances… ” said Roeder, his anger bubbling quietly away just beneath the surface.
“What is frustrating is – and it means absolutely nothing; I understand that – but we had a game on Friday for 20 minutes. And some of the goals being scored by those players that played today were stunning.
“And yet they've come out here and missed chances that you would have thought they'd have scored with their eyes closed. But there we are – they haven't. And we have got to move on.”
Roeder emerged from Bramall Lane with one slight injury concern as Canary skipper Mark Fotheringham disappeared just before the end with what Roeder described as “a crack on the top of his knee”. For now, it did not appear too serious.
“We just took him off to be certain that he's OK for next week – and we think he will be,” said Roeder, who will at least have Darel Russell available again for this weekend's crunch clash with struggling Colchester United.
For that's where Norwich's salvation probably lies – at home to the Us this weekend and then at home to Burnley a fortnight later. And while few would suggest that 52 points is any absolute guarantee of safety as the Championship continues to bemuse with every passing Leicester-like result, the hope would be that someone – ie Southampton – are plummeting at a faster rate of knots than any of the other half a dozen or so teams left in that relegation gaggle.
That, of course, is presuming that both Colchester and Scunthorpe are already down among the dead men.
Certainly Roeder and his managerial team have much to ponder team-wise this week – whether or not to go into that ColU game all guns blazing and marry Lee Croft on the right with Huckerby on the left or whether to hope that those twinkles of Premiership class from Arsenal starlet Kieran Gibbs can be translated into Championship goals.
Russell's greater goal threat ought to book him a place straight back into Roeder's thinking, while Gary Doherty likewise should be due a start following the end of his own, one-match ban and this weekend's second-half run-out for the luckless Jason Shackell.
But all told, it is still shaping up to be a nervy few weeks in which most things are still possible – be they bad or just indifferent.
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