City boss Glenn Roeder insisted this morning that there was one story and one story only ahead of tomorrow's crunch home clash with Queen's Park Rangers.
And that story wasn't Dion Dublin's retirement party. Nor was it the on-going question mark over Darren Huckerby's future employment. The only issue that mattered was three points and Championship safety. End of.
“There's no other stories – there's nothing else that counts,” said Roeder, well aware of the other stories doing the rounds. Huckerby for Palace, for Sunderland and beyond. There is also the small matter of the Player of the Season award and Dublin's farewell party.
“There's only one story – Norwich winning this game of football. Everything else comes second – by a long way. There's no other story.”
And there wasn't. Everything else was put on hold until after this Saturday when, hopefully, the picture clears.
His only other thoughts were for the supporters who face an agonising afternoon at Carrow Road with the prospect of League One football next season still haunting their every thought. Few will head to Carrow Road thinking all will be fine – Fulham (a) seared a sufficiently deep psychological scar in their make-up to put that prospect well out of reach. The alarm bells will continue to ring.
“We want to win our last game at home in front of our own supporters – that's huge,” said Roeder, as one of the club's biggest games in recent memory loomed ever larger.
While there may be a clutch of Championship teams with fewer points and – on paper – trickier games than the Canaries, the margin for error is all but nil. In theory a draw could do – particularly if West Bromwich Albion celebrate promotion to the Premiership in style on Monday night when they play host to a Southampton side with a wretched goal difference.
The ideal scenario is the simplest – just win one last game of football and put the whole matter to rest. Give the supporters something, finally, to smile about. End their agonies.
“The supporters have been magnificent and the chosen ones have to go out and win a game of football,” said the City chief.
“And if it was me, if I was one of the chosen ones I'd consider it a massive honour that I was chosen to go out and win the last game of the season at home,” he added. “But the fans have been magnificent all year and as I said from the very beginning, that was one of the reasons that I wanted to be manager of this club.
“To draw 25,000 people when they're in what was almost a hopeless position…”
That needs to be rewarded. He did, however, have one message for the supporters on eve of survival battle.
“I can only say: 'Don't be nervy…'” said Roeder. “Don't let it be a ball and chain round your legs. Come and get behind us – be our 12th man.
“Because the players do talk about it afterwards. They say: 'The crowd were excellent today…' or 'Weren't they quiet…' That first game at Carrow Road, I didn't realise it could get as serious as that for that derby game.
“And we need that sort of support tomorrow and the players enjoy that – that drives them on. They don't buckle with that noise behind them – they grow. So come into the ground very positive and get behind us straight away.”
Had there been a tense or anxious mood about the place? One false step now and the Canaries could face a nightmare trip to Hillsborough in nine days time with their Championship survival hanging on little more than an hour and a half of football – and all against a home side with their own, desperate escape plans in place. That revolve dining out on a little, angst-ridden Canary.
“Anxious? No, anything but,” said Roeder, with the squad enjoying a day's go-karting in mid-week.
“We had our usual team-bonding day out on Wednesday – we've tried all different pursuits. Golf, snooker, ten-pin bowling and we went go-karting this week,” added the City chief. No names as to the winner, other than that “Lewis Hamilton is still pretty safe…”
Otherwise, it was just 'Same as…'
“There's been no change. They were fine leading up to the first game against Ipswich when we were tailed off; needing snookers nearly. But the greater the challenge, the greater the response…”
Injury-wise and it wouldn't be Norwich if everything was plain sailing. On-loan Chelsea starlet Ryan Bertrand missed last Saturday's 2-1 defeat by champions-elect West Bromwich Albion with a slight niggle; Mo Camara duly stepped into his shoes at left-back.
Camara, however, has been ill all week leaving a large vacancy at left-back – one which, in theory, Matty Pattison could fill. Roeder, however, appeared confident that one of either Camara or Bertrand would make tomorrow's big date.
“We'll see how Ryan is – and Mo's been ill this week, but he'll be in this morning,” said the City chief. Quizzed as to their chances, Roeder was hopeful was getting at least one of them of the pitch.
“They're both 50/50. But one of them will be out there – which one I don't know…”