Town old-boy Gavin Williams could return to haunt the Canaries at Ashton Gate this weekend as the Robins start their own preparations for a big game in both clubs' diaries.
City, as in Bristol, have been suffering football's equivalent of the 'second album syndrome' this time round – failing to match either the results or the performances to those in their 'debut' season back in the Championship.
Indeed, Gary Johnson's men came agonisingly close to putting together back-to-back promotion campaigns before falling at the final hurdle – losing 1-0 to Hull City in the Championship play-off final.
That particular hangover appears to have lingered with the Robins going down 3-0 at Sheffield United in their last outing; before that and they found themselves 2-0 down at home to the born-again Plymouth before scrabbling their way to a 2-2 draw. By all accounts the 2-0 defeat at Wolves could have been six so ill-at-ease did they look.
Johnson's No2 Keith Millen admitted this afternoon that the current international break had arrived just in the nick of time as the pressure started to mount on Johnson to repeat last year's heroics. Or at least not to slump back into the mid-table pack after a decent summer in the transfer market in which Welsh international Williams sealed his switch from east to west.
“This break has come at exactly the right time for us,” assistant boss Keith Millen told the Bristol Evening Post tonight, as he admitted that the Robins had made something of a patchy start this autumn.
“When you're going well, you want to keep playing and winning, but we've had a few problems and we needed time in which to assess our situation,” he said. “What that has done is given those players with injuries time to recover and to work on their fitness, while also allowing those lads on the fringes of the first team to get themselves match fit.”
A behind-closed-doors clash with near-neighbours Swindon Town helped that process with Marvin Elliott, Jamie McCombe and Cole Skuse all now back from their respective bumps and knocks.
Striker Lee Trundle, David Noble and Town old-boy Williams added to Johnson's options ahead of this weekend's contest.
The one and only absentee is the one that caused all the fuss last-time out – striker Steve Brooker.
It was his late goal on his last return from major injury that prompted all manner of finger-pointing in Andy D'Urso's direction as both Glenn Roeder and his own No2, Lee Clark, saw red over the referee's hapless part in Norwich's downfall that rain-sodden day. Both found themselves up before the Football Association in the summer for their furious sins.
On the eve of their return to the West Country and Roeder is already working on the basis of having no Jon Otsemobor at his disposal after losing the popular right-back to an ankle ligament injury “for a period of time”.
He will also be keeping his fingers firmly crossed that John Kennedy is fit enough to return given that Elliot Omosuzi will have to step out of central defence to cover for Otsemobor's absence and Dejan Stefanovic will still be suspended after being dismissed for foul and abusive language in that defeat at St Mary's.
No such issues for the hosts as Johnson and Millen sift through a fully-fit squad over the next 72 hours.
“It's something we haven't had so far this season. We've usually had players missing or lads playing with knocks and not fully fit,” said Millen. “You simply can't afford to carry even one or two players in the Championship. It's such a strong league, you get found out.
“But that situation is looking a lot better now and just about everyone will be available for the Norwich game.”
The secret of last season's success wasn't too hard to fathom, he suggested. A good run on the injury front – and working hard. Both will be at the forefront of the management's mind as they look to re-start their season at Norwich's expense.
With the Canaries perched just one place above the bottom three and former league leaders Wolves due at Carrow Road a week today and Roeder would desperately like to have something to show for his travels this weekend.
Right now and Mother Nature was doing Bristol more favours than Norwich as Roeder hoped that Sammy Clingan's injured shoulder would be up to the test after he aggravated it again in that Derby defeat.
“One of the reasons we did so well last season was because we avoided injuries and we're getting back to that same state of affairs now,” said Millen.
If only… would be Roeder's reaction.