City boss Glenn Roeder received at least one piece of bright news ahead of this afternoon's away clash at Cardiff City – the fact that holding midfielder Sammy Clingan was fit enough to start.
The Northern Ireland international had been rated a serious doubt after sustaining a whack to the shin in the midweek friendly clash with Scotland.
It prompted an angry Roeder to question the whole value of August friendly internationals ahead of this weekend's long haul to South Wales. But, at least, the story had a happy ending in so far as Clingan was able to resume his place alongside skipper Mark Fotheringham.
The other big point of interest was a start for City's goal-scoring hero Darel Russell whose 74th leveller at home to Blackpool last Saturday remains Norwich's lone goal of the season.
With both Arturo Lupoli and Omar Koroma starting today's game on the bench, pre-match and the assumption was that Russell would be asked to return to his teenage roots and join Jamie Cureton up front.
It was a sure sign of the times that in the on-going absence of an out-and-out target man, Roeder felt that he had little option but to ask his central midfielder to start the game in a position he mastered a dozen years ago.
In fairness, at least he has an eye for goal.
Lee Croft once more found himself on the bench – unable to dislodge Matty Pattison from his favoured right-sided role – while once again there was no sign of fit-again Adam Drury, whose return from long-term injury at MK Dons has been the last anyone has seen of him.
Both Lupoli and 'OJ' would offer strike alternatives if the Russell-Cureton combination failed to hit the heights of Ched Evans in the corresponding fixture last season.
Norwich City (4-4-2): Marshall; Omosuzi, Bertrand, Kennedy, Stefanovic; Pattison, Fotheringham, Clingan, Hoolahan; Russell, Cureton. Subs (not used): Nelson, Shackell, Croft, Lupoli, Koroma.
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