City boss Glenn Roeder has led his troops West this week – settting up his pre-season HQ in Nigel Mansell's back garden for a week-long, fitness camp in the depths of Devon.
With the whole Peter Cullum takeover talk likely to rumble on again this week as battle-lines harden over the ownership of the 106-year-old club, the City playing and management staff are safely out of harm's way – and able to concentrate wholly on gearing up for the start of the new season under the watchful eye of Roeder's newly-installed fitness consultants headed by conditioning guru Alan Pearson.
The Canary boss won't stray too far from his mobile phone, however, with the pace of transfer activity likely to remain high thought the fact that the world and his wife now assume the club have ?20 million of Cullum's billions stashed away in the Carrow Road safe makes no-one's life any easier.
But politically, if nothing else, the current administration need to demonstrate the kind of ambition that Cullum's wealth would allow; that might take a little poison out of the air.
Certainly with City's first game of the summer only nine days away with that trip to Gorleston on the 16th, people want to see momentum – be it on the field or off it. Most would like to see a few new arrivals down the spine of the team. Then there is also the small matter of Wolves' on-going interest in Jason Shackell to address.
Pearson's arrival is just one of many backroom changes this summer as Roeder swept the corridors of Colney clean with a vengence.
“I think the players have been very impressed with what Alan Pearson has put on so far,” said Roeder, ahead of leading his squad down to the West Country this week and a six-day spell at Mansell's La Manga-style golf and country club.
“He's certainly putting them through the hoop but they're responding in a way that I'd want them to,” added the City chief, with Pearson and his fitness team applying a spot of science to pre-season – charging up and down Mousehold is no longer on the menu.
“There's no more cross-countries and long-distance running which we now realise, on the sports science side of things, wasn't doing us any good whatsoever. Although at the time, we thought it was. So all those cross-countries that I ran were obviously a waste of time.”
Pearson, Roeder confirmed, was now officially part of 'Team Glenn' and looks to be the one to have stepped into Dave Carolan's shoes. The latter has, of course, now been appointed to a similar role with City's East Anglian neighbours Colchester United.
“I worked with him [Alan] at West Ham and he has his own company called SAQ,” revealed Roeder. “But when I worked with him at West Ham he made a big impression on me and the players.
“And he's got worldwide experience – not just in soccer as he calls it, but in rugby. He's spent a lot of time in Australia with several different rugby teams; he's been involved with quite a few football teams and people that work for his company worked with Bayern Munich last year.”
The only thing he currently lacks is a job title.
“He's only just joined us, but I suppose he's head of the fitness and strengthening programme at the football club. We haven't given him a title – but that's what he's in charge of. Fitness and strengthening.”
Roeder – speaking to the Press last Friday – also revealed that, so far, both Chris Martin and Michael Spillane had responded well to the challenge that he laid at the teenagers' feet ealier this summer.
Given City's shortage numbers-wise, he can ill-afford to carry any passengers this term. And having given the pair the full 'Now or never…' challenge after both disappeared last season, a penny might – just – have dropped.
That the two have the ability to make a decent living for themselves is not in doubt. Both have already shone at Under-19 level for their country -Martin scoring on his England Under-19 debut; Spillane being a mainstay of the Republic of Ireland Under-19s. They have ability to burn, now they need the attitude to match. All too often it is a caseof having too much 'attitude' that has proved their un-doing. That has to change has long been the manager's message.
“He [Martin] looks a lot slimmer and is working hard,” said Roeder with the Beccles youngster having a season he would rather forget last season.
“And so is Spillane,” added Roeder, suggesting that the two had decided not to be such a double act this time around.
“They seem to have decided to put eachother at each end of the running line; they've decided to cut the string between them,” added the Canary boss, clearly a big fan of tough love.
“They've taken my advice on that. They're not running around with eachother like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum – like they used to.
“And I think that I've made them realise that if there's only one of them going to make it, that one is the one. Dog eat dog. And if I get ne player from the two I'll be delighted; if they both turn out players, then we've hit the jackpot.”