Former Canary play-maker Youssef Safri has vowed to keep the Saints in the Championship next season as Southampton suddenly find themselves everyone's favourite for the drop.
For if the Canaries aren't exactly out of the relegation woods following their 2-1 home defeat by West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, at least they have a two-point advantage on the South Coast side. And nor do they have to go to The Hawthorns on a Monday night.
Saddled with a wretched goal difference compared to their relegation rivals, Saturday's home game against Burnley was a real must-win for the Saints. Steven Caldwell's 45th minute strike blew that plan apart and while Queen's Park Rangers at home is fraught with the odd, end-of-season peril, it pales by comparison to Southampton's next challenge – to halt West Brom's title charge in its tracks in front of the Sky cameras.
And all 48 hours after Norwich, Leicester City, Sheffield Wednesday and Co do their best to put more clear water between them and that third and final relegation slot.
The fact that Southampton's final home game of the season is against play-off hunting Sheffield United may yet be of little consequence – provided the champagne corks pop at The Hawthorns as the Baggies breeze into the top flight at Southampton's expense.
“We still have two games, tough games, but we have got confidence in the players and staff as well,” said the 31-year-old, former Canary midfielder – now actually installed as Southampton skipper by newly-arrived boss Nigel Pearson.
In fairness, Safri has been in a similar do-or-die situation before – away at Fulham one, bright spring lunch-time. Given that his troubled groin packed up somewhere in the middle of Norwich's humiliating exit from the Premiership and it will be fascinating to see whether the Moroccan is the man for Southampton's hour of desperate need.
“All the time captain or not everything I do is to respect all the players and be a friend of everyone and I have respect for the club as well,” Safri told the Southampton Echo, fresh from leading the Saints out into battle against Burnley this weekend.
“It's an honour for me to be the first Moroccan to be captain of this club,” he added, about to throw a solemn vow into the mix. “I'm not going to go down and nor are Saints.”
Off the pitch and the South Coast side have long had a very whiffy air about them as their financial woes continue to bedevil one manager after the next. Talk of administration is never far away – particularly after the man from Microsoft no-showed.
This season's January transfer window merely added to the gathering sense of crisis as both Canary strike target Grzegorz Rasiak and Rudi Skacel were bundled out of the door in a hurry in a bid to stem the wages bill.
Kenwyne Jones had long gone to Sunderland for ?6 million as then manager George Burley found himself without a recognised centre-half to his name. He headed home to Scotland in January to succeed Alex McLeish as national team boss to leave the luckless Pearson to pick up the pieces.
The fact that the club now face an Emergency General Meeting next month in which former chairman Rupert Lowe is expected to be ushered back into office smacks of a club in an almighty mess.
Back on the pitch and as ever at this stage of the season, Championship survival will be won or lost in the mind. Famous last words, but the Canaries can at least take a decent performance into next weekend's show-down with Rangers; Southampton have to move swiftly on from losing what, for many, was their 'banker' game.
“We're very disappointed, especially when you work hard and deserve to win the game but in the end one goal and we lost the game and that is a very very disappointing feeling,” Safri told the Echo.
“They scored on 45 or maybe 46 minutes and we should have done better in that situation. They'd been in our box three times in 45 minutes and we'd played good and were creating chances but conceding goals like that cost us a lot in our situation.
“When you see yourself losing in the end you feel really bad because we had chances and played really good, but the result is a really really disappointing feeling for the players. Hopefully we can stop the feeling now.”
Safri's exit from Carrow Road last summer wasn't one of the smoothest as he and then boss Peter Grant fell out in particularly public fashion. The last straw arrived with Safri's no-show for the official 2007-2008 team photo.
Delayed – apparently – by picking up an agent at the airport, the Moroccan international felt Grant's full wrath.
“When players turn up late, game over,” said the City chief, who had already started to make plans for his exit that January with the arrival of Canary skipper Mark Fotheringham.
Two days later and Safri was on his way to St Mary's as Grant's own, best-laid plans for the new season continued to unravel. In the aftermath, Darren Huckerby would issue his own, forthright verdict on the exits of both Safri and Dickson Etuhu.
Nine months later and after his customary month-long absence for January's African Cup of Nations, Saints skipper Safri is still searching for his first Saints goal – it almost arrived at the very death on Saturday only for Clarets' keeper Brian Jensen to ride to the rescue.
“I thought I had scored and I said before the game I was feeling good to score but it was a good save,” said Safri. “It might have been goal of the season and it's very frustrating for me because I haven't scored this season yet.”
The fact that Stern John should have put the Saints in the driving seat long before Safri's late strike now counted for little, he said. “We started well but lost the game so we have to forget the result and go on to be safe.”