City boss Glenn Roeder is convinced that Norwich new-boy Sammy Clingan is made of the right stuff; that character-wise the Northern Ireland international ticks every box he's looking for.
With Scunthorpe United striker Martin Paterson now looking Burnley-bound after the Iron confirmed over the weekend that they had agreed a ?1.3 million fee with the Clarets for their transfer-seeking striker, for now Clingan remains City only summer signing.
Reports of Andrew Cole being spotted in the city over the weekend will merely add further fuel to that particular fire – that Lee Clark's 36-year-old pal could yet be tempted to step into Dion Dublin's shoes and be the wise, old head in the Canary dressing room next season.
It also appeared as if Shola Ameobi's desire to ply his trade in the Premiership next season could find the 26-year-old heading to The Hawthorns; the unwanted Newcaste United star was due to return from his summer honeymoon this week. One way or the other, that saga looks set to resolve itself in the not too distant future.
Otherwise, it was as you were this morning – leaving Roeder to fill in a few more blanks regarding Clingan. Just what, exactly, the City chief saw in only his second, full-time signing since becoming manager.
“What is crucial this year is that fron day one of joining us – either that, or they're already here with us – that they want to play for Norwich City,” explained Roeder, speaking to the Press ahead of the weekend.
“That they want to put the shirt on – and not just play for Norwich City. They want to be part of a winning Norwich City team. And that's the feeling that I got from Sammy Clingan.”
The 24-year-old midfield anchor was a first-choice in Colin Calderwood's Forest promotion outfit and, likewise, swiftly became one of the first names on Nigel Worthington's team-sheet in the international green of Northern Ireland last season.
Both men – Roeder and Worthington – put much emphasis on the young man's character; for Worthington he is a Northern Ireland skipper in waiting.
“I knowthat he's saying that within a few minutes of meeting me he wanted to play for Norwich and wanted to play for me,” said Roeder, with Clingan telling the official club website last week that t was the 'Roeder vision' that helped to swing the deal in the Canaries' favour.
The respect was clearly mutual.
“I din't tell him, but within a few minutes of me meeting him, I had the same feeling,” added Roeder. “They guy looked me in the eye and I could see that he wants to put our shirt on and make sure it's a winning shirt. So I'm delighted with that first signing.”
As for Worthington's assessment of Clingan – that he would, with a little more experience, follow the ex-City boss in captaining his country – Roeder was happy enough to trust Worthington's judgement.
“I hope Nigel's right,” he said. “And he should know.
“He's obviously worked with him and I've yet to work with him – I've only seen him play.”
That was, it seems, enough as Roeder offered an intriguing insight into his on managerial philosophy – that when it comes to playing the game of football, you can start to judge a book by its cover; that there is enough by way of raw, human emotion on display to judge what sort of man lies beneath.
“If you watch any player carefully enough – not just what he does on the ball; without the ball – if you watch his mannerisms during a game and how he reacts whan a referee gives a decision that's blatantly wrong; how he reacts when a goal is scored against his team – or when they score.
“If you watch, you can't hide what you are as a person with your human emotions. And I think that you can get very close to knowing somebody without actually meeting them by watching a game of football.
“So I've watched Sammy Clingan play and then, when I met him, that's the person I saw playing football.”
It is, he said, a rule of thumb that rarely lets him down.
“In most cases, I find that to be true. If I see someone who I think is mentally weak, who gives in – when I've met them, I feel by the answers they give to the questions that you put to them that they are exactly that. Weak people. And they stick out like a sore thumb on the football pitch.”