He might have been walking away with the Man of the Match champagne; he might have been promising that there was still much more to come from David Bell.
But however much the 24-year-old shone yesterday individually with those two, glorious deliveries for both City's goals – the first a towering Leroy Lita header; the second a far post finish from a lurking John Kennedy – there was still no hiding from the fact that the Canaries had, yet again, ripped a nonsense draw from the jaws of an oh-so comfortable victory.
Yes, Bell looked the real deal; yes, on that evidence he ought to be one of the first names on the Norwich team-sheet. But when Norwich continue to under-whelm, continue to test everyone's patience and faith in the bottom six of the Championship, it remains a big ask to see Bell's individual efforts as any sort of silver lining.
Dark, brooding clouds continue to gather. Ten minutes more and one red card less and Bell might have had the back-page headlines to himself on the back of a 2-1 win over Preston North End this weekend.
As it is, of course, the 2-2 draw, Darel Russell's latest red mist moment and the serious-looking injury to Dejan Stefanovic will all demand attention ahead of Tuesday night's Annual General Meeting.
“Very frustrating,” said Bell afterwards – a two-word summary that only touched the surface of the faithful's mood as the Canaries, as ever, prove such masters of their own downfall.
If the second-minute opener gifted to old-boy Chris Brown wasn't bad enough, the manner of Neil Mellor's 81st minute leveller seconds after Russell's exit for a petulent shove in the face of Ross Wallace had everyone shaking their heads in disbelief. That game had gone; the points were in the can; job done.
Now, all of a sudden, that home clash with Swansea City assumes even greater proportions. Norwich can ill-afford any more slip-ups before they return to their travels at the City Ground, Nottingham the weekend after.
“In the first-half we should have been maybe three if not four-one up after a bad, first five minutes,” said Bell, all of which was fair enough.
Lita forced Andrew Lonergan into a fabulous save with his trailing glove after being squeezed in by some neat Bell foot-work; Ryan Bertrand slammed the underside of the bar with a 22-yard peach; Lee Croft screwed the rebound wide. There were three chances for starters…
“We pegged them back and we had some real good chances,” added the City winger, following his best display yet in a Norwich shirt.
“Coming in at 1-1 we were a bit disappointed, but going into the second-half we got our noses in front; got on top. And looked like we were cruising until the ref sent Rusty (Russell) off; then we're down to ten men; they get a bit of momentum; they got they equaliser.
“And then it seemed as if we were hanging on.”
There was, in fairness to the visitors, no 'seemed' about it. David Marshall had to make amends for his part in Brown's ridiculous opener with a couple of fine saves before the end as Preston threatened to twist the knife even further.
“When you go down to ten men, it gives the opposition team a boost,” said Bell, as the Canaries failed to re-focus immediately after the skipper saw red. As good and as true as Mellor's finish was, fellow substitute Richard Chaplow had all too much time and space to thread the Lilywhite striker in.
“They get the equaliser and in the last ten minutes we were hanging on for the point which was criminal, really.
“The first five minutes was a bit of a nightmare and then losing Dejan so early… but after that I felt we got back into the game and in the first-half I thought we played some brilliant stuff.”
That counted for all-but nowt come the end.
“For all the lads in there, it feels like we've lost – the disappointment; the frustration,” he admitted. “Everyone's just fuming with the result after a good 75 minutes; then Rusty got sent off and it changed the game.”
His performance did, at least, stand out. After all the trials and tribulations of that pre-season ankle injury, you can now start to see what the fuss might be about. One, sublime touch – albeit too tight on the touchline for the linesman's liking – was an all-too rare moment of real class. His delivery of a set-piece ball was, likewise, top drawer Championship-wise.
“That's only my second 90 minutes of the season so I've still got a bit of match fitness to come, but hopefully five or six games down the line when I'm fully match-fit then there's a bit more to come,” he said.
“I've now got myself in the team and, hopefully, I can now stay in it. And, hopefully, we can climb up that league.”