The Canaries tonight found themselves slumping back into the nether reaches of the Championship following today's 2-0 defeat at Turf Moor.
Two goals in the space of four second-half minutes from one-time Manchester United trainee Chris Eagles condemned Glenn Roeder's men to their second away defeat of the week and left City supporters wondering where, exactly, the next away point might be coming from.
The Sky TV cameras always bring the 'best' out in the Norfolk side. And with one-time strugglers Nottingham Forest having just picked up their own first away win of the season at Crystal Palace in mid-week, on current form and fortune you wouldn't overly fancy Norwich's chances at the City Ground on November 22.
Sheffield Wednesday (a) at the end of the month might be OK; if Watford can lose at home to Blackpool as they did today then the Canaries ought to have a chance at the start of December. But it is a mid-week night; the more suspicious wouldn't see that as a good sign – a Wednesday night at Vicarage Road.
As for Christmas and into the New Year, trips to Reading, Selhurst Park on Boxing Day and Sheffield United in the middle of January…
Fortunately for Roeder's hopes of injecting a little goodwill into some flagging Canary spirits, he has at least now got two back-to-back home games in which to repeat the feats of last week and those welcome successes against first league leaders Wolves and then Doncaster Rovers.
By which standards, Preston North End and Swansea City at home should be a four-point minimum.
He also has every right to expect the use of Leroy Lita again for another month after Reading's 4-1 romp away at Bristol City today ensured that the 23-year-old's loan extension should prove little more than a formality come Monday morning.
But for as long as that one, away win at Home Park remains Norwich's only success on their travels this season, so the Norfolk side have little hope of poking their noses above the half-way mark table-wise. Switching off at set-plays, allowing the game's brighter sparks to spring your offside trap all too often… the Turf Moor charge sheet had a familiar ring as Robbie Blake once more proved a pain in City's side.
Only this time he had a partner in creative wing crime – Eagles.
This evening and Norwich were sat back in 19th place – eminently grateful to Blackpool for stealing that late winner against the Hornets and ensuring that Watford remained entrenched beneath them.
Afterwards and Roeder admitted that there had been a long and pointed post-mortem in the dressing room – albeit minus the 'ranting and raving' of a Plymouth away last season.
But having just witnessed City's fifth defeat of the season on their travels, he was quite clear that such a paltry return on the road was “unacceptable” as another set of travelling Canary fans prepared to head back down the M6 with precious little to show for the long – and increasingly expensive – day out in Lancashire.
“We need as a group to greatly improve our performances away from home,” he told the official City site, www.canaries.co.uk. “Our away form is simply unacceptable.”
And all such a contrast to events at Carrow Road of late. “We've picked up a great result against Wolves and a good win against Doncaster Rovers, but we need to start showing the same commitment and bravery we show at Carrow Road when we go away as well.”
Curiously, a delighted Clarets boss Owen Coyle had seen today's game as Burnley's “toughest game of the season”. Presumeably, the thinking was that given Norwich's wretched record on their travels and the fact that the Turf Moor side had lost just one of their previous 14 outings before this weekend, that the expectation of an easy win could prove their undoing.
That and the fact that the name 'Norwich' didn't inject quite the same fear factor into his dressing room as a Birmingham or a Reading.
He had little to worry on that score as the Canaries pretty much played their bit-part to a 'T'; Leroy Lita spurned a gilt-edged chance after the break; Darel Russell poked one wide after a horrific mix-up in the Burnley box; otherwise it was Norwich that were on the rack – twice Elliot Omosuzi would have to clear off the line in the game's opening exchanges; Steve Thompson would fire wide after a nightmare David Marshall fumble…
No-one could argue with the result.
“I said during the week it was going to be our most difficult game of the season,” said Coyle afterwards, ironically strongly-tipped at one stage to be Peter Grant's first team coach at Colney before Burnley came a-calling.
“Given the performances against Birmingham and Reading, I had no doubts about that. I think those games take care of themselves,” he said afterwards.
“But there was probably an expectation today that we were expected to win and I'm delighted that the lads have stuck to what we're trying to teach.
“We really should have been well in front by half-time, but we weren't. So we asked them to just keep believing in what they were doing and stay true to the principles of what we are trying to teach and we did that to score two magnificent goals.”