City keeper David Marshall might be forgiven for wishing that George Burley had postponed his trip to Norfolk for 96 hours.
Sat in the directors box at Carrow Road for last Wednesday night's painful 1-0 by Queen's Park Rangers, the 23-year-old City No1 had precious little to do – other than pick Martin Rowlands' fierce free-kick out of the back of the net and watch as his one-time Celtic youth pal John Kennedy hobbled off the pitch.
Otherwise he was a virtual spectator as Rangers, a goal to the good but a player down, sat eight men behind the ball and rarely ventured over the half-way line.
Come this Saturday, however, and as the Canaries racked up their first home win of the season with that last-gasp success against Sheffield United, so Marshall had his hands full.
And duly rose to every challenge – including that match-winning save to defy Danny Webber moments before Lee Croft's injury-time sparkler.
At which point Marshall was racing from one penalty box to the other as he joined in the celebrations.
“It was good,” said the Canary keeper, as he explained his Bryan Gunn-like chage up the pitch.
“Crofty's been desperate to score; it was last minute; it was great to win it after the disappointment of Wednesday – so it was just a bit of emotion at the end. Just good to get a win.”
A win that could all so easily have gone to the Blades as Jonathan Grounds' fateful slip ensured that the Webber could race unchallenged into the City penalty area where just Marshall awaited. One-on-one, with both angle and time in the striker's favour, it was 'Goodnight and God bless!' – another 1-0 home defeat for the Carrow Road faithful to stomach, wasn't it?
“I thought Elliot (Omosuzi) and Groundsy were brilliant a centre-halves considering that they only knew that they were playing together this morning when Dejan [Stefanovic] never made it,” said Marshall afterwards.
“But one slip and they're in – but, as I say, it was great to make the save. And obviously it's even better when Crofty goes up the other end and makes it a 1-0.”
It was the third time he had ridden to Norwich's rescue; till then his best had been the sharp, diving save low to his left to deny a Gary Speed diving header before the break.
Not that he was alone. United's Paddy Kenny pulled one right out of the top drawer to push an Antoine Sibierski effort around an upright.
The trick, he said, was to stay on his feet as long as possible; to keep Webber guessing. And waiting.
“I just tried to keep up as long as possible – that's all you can do, really,” he said. “I've guessed that he's going to go left, but if he turns it inside you then you're pretty much beat. But that was it – just stayed up as long as possible and made myself as big as possible. And it just hit my hand.”
Which, hopefully, Scotland chief Burley will get to see on video; that was rough justice – that the long-time Town player and manager didn't for once do Norfolk a favour and turn up when he was required.
“I don't really care,” laughed Marshall. “Just as long as we get the points.
“I can only do what I can do to win games; I can't go chasing things,” he added, with Sunderland's Craig Gordon for now the man in firm possession of that international jersey.
“I'm just happy to help Norwich win games; for now Scotland can come second.”
The fact that Glenn Roeder had been forced into wholesale changes ahead of this weekend's game with both Jon Otsemobor and Adam Drury drafted back in at full-back made the victory even sweeter – there was also a large dollop of Sod's Law to the fact that it coincided with City's first clean sheet of the season.
“We've been pretty good defensively all season, but we've not had a clean sheet. And then the back four gets muddled about and you end up getting one. But, as I say, I thought they've done excellent when the average age of the back four must have been 21,” said Marshall.
“So it's great against a team like that – Beattie and Sharp are experienced players.”