City loan hero Ched Evans held out the prospect of a return to Norfolk next season as all thoughts now turn to 'Where next..?' for Glenn Roeder's Canaries.
The Norwich chief, fresh from Saturday's 3-0 defeat against QPR, said that sparing the Canaries from the drop was just the start of things; Chapter One in Glenn Roeder's Green and Yellow Tales – Chapter Two started almost as soon as the final whistle blew on Saturday as everyone started to ponder how many familiar faces would actually be back at Carrow Road in four, short months as Roeder's first, full season in charge begins.
Dion Dublin has long done his farewells. Question marks still hang over three more of Saturday's starting line-up with Darren Huckerby (famously), Mark Fotheringham and Gary Doherty all out of contract, while Messrs Bertrand, Gibbs and Evans head back to their full-time Premiership employers this summer knowing little as to what their short-term future holds.
Long-term and on all available evidence, all three look well set for a prosperous future in the professional game.
Whether, in the short-term, that might mean a second tour of duty under Roeder's watchful gaze is likely to prove one of the biggest questions of the summer. Evans, having racked up his tenth goal in just 19 starts on Saturday has clearly got 'it'.
Trouble is, of course, that on the back of this season's exploits for both the Canaries and Bryan Flynn's Welsh Under-21 outfit, the world and his wife also know he's got 'it' and Norwich won't be the only club beating a path back to Sven-Goran Eriksson's door this summer to see what the Manchester City chief has planned for his young starlet.
Likewise, some of Evans' summer suitors will come armed with a big, fat Premiership cheque book if Eriksson himself can't find room for the youngster in his senior first team squad. Given that the Manchester club have just won the FA Youth Cup, there could well be the next Ched Evans floating around Eastlands and demanding a game.
Either way, the hope must be that his six-month spell in Norfolk will put Roeder and the Canaries somewhere near the front of the queue for Evans' services. Judging by the manner in which he took his tally into double figures with that perfectly-executed volley and the celebration that followed, the young Welshman certainly appears to be enjoying himself.
“That was my aim – double figures,” revealed Evans, speaking after Saturday's thrilling success. “I'm glad that I've got it and I'm just looking forward to the end of the season, really.”
It has been quite a time of late. For not only was he crowned March's Anglian Player of the Month ahead of last week's home clash with West Bromwich Albion, he also picked up this weekend's Man of the Match award.
And rightly so. Irrespective of the importance of that seventh minute opener – and the impeccable technique that kept the ball down and under Lee Camp's bar – Evans' all-round game has come on leaps and bounds of late. His tracking back – as Ipswich winger Danny Haynes discovered when he was unceremoniously dumped on the floor by a thumping, albeit late, challenge from a covering Evans – is one, clear example; big, powerful defensive headers from corners another.
Of course, Evans was also centre-stage when it came to Damion Stewart's fourth-minute dismissal – a moment that helped set the tone for all that followed as Norwich made full and glorious use of that extra-man advantage.
“I feel it's fair – I think the defender's pushed me into the goalkeeper,” said Evans. Most people, however, pointed the finger at Camp who flattened Evans moments after Stewart's innocuous-looking push. What wasn't in doubt was the fact that the on-loan City striker had nicked the ball away from both and would have had an empty goal to aim at if he had been allowed to squeeze through.
“I didn't know which one but either way one of them should have got sent off,” he said. “If I hadn't hit the goalkeeper I would have gone through probably – I would have got round him.”
Four minutes later and Evans was making Rangers' hesitant defence pay the appropriate penalty as he coiled himself up and smashed a 15-yard volley home from an initial Huckerby corner.
“I was just a good connection with the ball – I don't score easy ones,” he added, likely to add the 'Goal of the Season' award to his recent tally at tonight's Player of the Season bash with that almighty rocket away at Cardiff City.
Look back now and it is clear that the young man's goals have proved pivotal in Norwich's escape. That last-minute strike at Ninian Park alone was two, huge points which no-one saw coming – least of all the Bluebirds keeper.
“I think I killed someone in the crowd with one attempt,” he laughed, after being reminded of two more efforts that whizzed no more than a foot to the side of a Camp upright – beyond the keeper's left post in the first-half, fizzing just away from his right after the break.
Goals from Fotheringham and Darel Russell in the end did the job and booked Norwich's place back in the Championship next season.
“There's a big sense of relief in the dressing room,” said Evans. “Everyone's just happy to get the season out of the way – it's not exactly been a pretty season.
“It was a bit scrappy – going good then going bad, but everyone's glad we're safe now.”
But would he be back at Carrow Road again next season?
“No-one knows yet – we can just wait and see,” said Evans, whose ten goals from just 19 starts marks him out as a man with a very rich future ahead of him. Literally, given that he is due to have contract talks at Eastlands again this summer.
Had he enjoyed it? “Yes – thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said. And when the really hard talking starts this summer, that little thought could yet be worth clinging on to.