City boss Glenn Roeder gave his Robins counterpart Gary Johnson a big clue as to what to expect at Ashton Gate next weekend – a Canary team camped out in their host's half; their best foot forward; their faces right in those of the opposition.
Playing, said Roeder, as if they were the home team.
Saturday's results at Carrow Road and Ninian Park make this weekend's forthcoming clash at promotion-chasing Bristol City an intriguing encounter.
For while the Canaries can head west with almost nothing to lose after their 5-1 dismissal of Colchester United – a result that, in every likelihood, puts them within four points of safety with six games to go – the Robins' 2-1 defeat at Cardiff City leaves them without a win in five games and heading into that Canary clash on the back of two, straight defeats.
With Robins boss Johnson sent to the stands after a run-in with Bluebirds manager Dave Jones and the fourth official as tempers started to fray on the touchline, Bristol would appear to be gripped by promotion fever – a sweaty, nervous disposition coupled to cramp in the neck as you spend all too much time peering over your shoulder to see what's going on behind you.
In the Robins' case, it is watching Hull City thundering up the table like a train as the Canaries re-discover their scoring touch just in time for the visit to Ashton Gate.
Roeder is certainly intent on finishing the season on more of a high than a heap after setting his players a “seven game project” in the run-up to this weekend's massive game against the U's.
“We've said to the players that it's a seven-game project – and part one of the project was to win today,” said Roeder, speaking after Saturday's crucial success.
“So we can put a tick in that box. The second part of the project is to go to Bristol City and win as well.”
And to do that, Roeder wants to recapture the spirit of Christmas and New Year when Norwich played like a team possessed away from home.
“There was a period of six or seven games when we were top of the table on away form,” he said, with that 2-1 away success at Cardiff probably being the highlight of that period.
“And we very much had the approach of [saying] 'We will play like the home team…' We won't sit back and take it on the chin; we will try and play in the opposing half and play as if we were at Carrow Road and we will do that at Ashton Gate next week. Try and play as the home team.”
Whether or not Roeder follows that ultra-positive line to the letter and goes into a second successive game without a keeper on the bench will be interesting.
It was a significant break from his traditional practice not to have Matty Gilks or a recognised No2 among the five substitutes – a lesson he appears to have learned from Neil Warnock who has long ago disposed with the luxury of a second keeper. Just in case.
“Everyone's dear old friend Neil Warnock has done it for two years and has been extremely lucky,” said Roeder, who gave himself one more outfield option on Saturday as Messrs Croft, Evans, Pearce, Rigters and Camara took their place on the bench.
“And I've looked at myself as a manager over a number of years and [it's] only Shay Given that I've ever had to substitute because of an injury. And that was at Newcastle last year with a groin injury.
“When I was at Gillingham, Watford, West Ham and just the once at Newcastle. And since I've been here I've never had to use a sub goalkeeper so I thought: 'Let's go for it..!' And have an extra outfield player on the bench.
“Thankfully it came off. Whether I do that next week we'll have to wait and see. It's much more exciting not knowing what is going to happen, isn't it?”