City boss Glenn Roeder will come face-to-face with a Baldock Town left-back he once signed for ?10,000 when the Canaries return to their Championship survival quest this weekend against title-chasing West Bromwich Albion.
The Baggies put themselves firmly in the driving seat for one of the two automatic promotion places with last night's 1-0 win over bitter rivals Wolves.
Zoltan Gera provided the decisive strike from a typically intuitive cross from Kevin Phillips, once of Baldock Town.
A paltry ?10,000 secured his switch to Watford in December, 1994, when City chief Glenn Roeder switched the then 21-year-old into a striker.
Some 14 years later and one of the most prolific marksmen in Premiership history is still banging in goals for fun – he has 24 for the Baggies this season. He is also, interestingly, out of contract this summer.
A free agent able to sell his goal-scoring wares to the highest bidder – a fact, you suspect, that won't have escaped Roeder's notice. Phillips may be due to celebrate his 35th birthday this July, but he appears to have lost little of his appetite for the game.
And with Dion Dublin – 39 this month – about to bow out of the professional game, bolting someone of Phillips' age, experience and finishing prowess onto the front of his Canary side would be an intriguing option.
Clearly, Phillips will not be short of takers with Mowbray likely to be first in the queue – particularly if he came to the table armed with the prospect of having one, final tilt at the Premiership.
“It is dragging on but I am confident that Kevin will stay,? said Mowbray, speaking after last night's huge win over the neighbours. Goal-scorer Gera is also out of contract this summer, but many a Championship eye will be on Phillips' whereabouts next August.
Still at The Hawthorns is Mowbray's hope.
?I think he's enjoyed the last two seasons. We play a brand of football that helps Kevin as well – it's not all one-sided,? he said.
“We don't play in straight lines and Kevin's intelligence helps him to perform at the top level.?
The former Town skipper and coach is enough of a realist to recognise that player-power is all these days. Money will talk.
“Good luck to both of them – this is the era that we live in with the Bosman rule where they can let their contracts run down and I won't be falling out with anyone over that,? he said.
?I hope that both of them recognise that we are a team that plays a brand of football which accentuates their talents, but if they go then we will bring in other players.?
Last night's win will send the Baggies flying into Saturday's contest. The hope from Norwich's point of view is that their recent sapping schedule – including, of course, that FA Cup semi-final trip to Wembley – will finally catch up with them.
Mowbray was demanding another big performance from his troops this weekend. And all with their feet planted firmly on the floor.
“We're two points clear and it could be a lot more. Nobody will be getting carried away – I can assure you of that,? saod the Baggies chief.
“We've got to go to Norwich on Saturday which will be our sixth game in 18 days and we need another performance.”
In the meantime, Canary skipper mark Fotheringham all but declared himself fit for the Baggies match after missing Sunday's derby clash with a neck injury sustained in training on Saturday mornig.
Given his recent influence on proceedings in both the the D'Urso circus at Bristol City and the comfortable 2-0 win over Burnley a week later, you feared his ability to keep the ball moving from side to side wouldbe sorely missed against a footballing Town side.
It was – even if Fotheringham's absence was far from the only chink in Norwich's derby armour.
?Basically I just ran out of time,? said Fotheringham, speaking to the club's official website.
?I went up for a header and think it might have been the way I landed. I just got a shooting pain through my left shoulder blade. I couldn't get any movement in it and I was in a lot of pain down my left hand side.
?I went up to see the osteopath with the physio and he manipulated it and made it a lot better. I'm sure I'll be ready for West Brom.?
And having watched Tony Mowbray's men push Portsmouth to the wire in their FA Cup semi-final showdown, he knows exactly what awaits this weekend. A tough test, in short.
?They're a good side but at the same time they're not Man United or Arsenal or anything like that,? said the City skipper.
?They're in our league and we've got to go and compete. On our day we've showed we are good enough and I think we've done that against the better sides in the Championship. Look at Bristol City and Charlton are another side where we passed it well.
?For me as a footballer these are the ones where you have got to be confident to keep the ball and keep your composure. Maybe we didn't do that enough in the derby.
?We know they've got good players and threats. Jonathan Greening is a good player but we have to prove we are more than capable of competing with these lads who have Premiership experience.
?All over the park we have to be able to say after the game, 'I did well against Kevin Phillips…' or 'I did well against Ishmael Miller…' If you do then you come up with your reputation intact.?
One win and with te likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Leicester City and Blackpool all due to take points off eachother this weekend, the Canaries could be home and dry come five o'clock. Could be home home and dry…
?We have got to get the points to put this thing to bed,? he said. ?We should've done so a month ago and we are dragging it out….