City boss Glenn Roeder has challenged anyone to feel the pain of losing quite so deeply as he does.
The Canaries resume their quest to claw their way out of the Championship's bottom six pack tonight with a home clash against Crystal Palace.
Buoyed by City's heroic resistance in the ten-man, 2-1 win away at bottom of the table Nottingham Forest over weekend, a back-to-back success would go some way to erasing such nasty memories as Burnley (a), Derby County (a) and Swansea City (h) – all of which, says the Canary chief, cut him to the quick.
“We ourselves one,” was Roeder's simple response when quizzed as to whether the Canaries owed their home fans a decent victory after the miseries of both Preston North End at home and then the mid-game shambles that was Swansea.
At least the club's long-distance sufferers – the away supporters – were granted a rare evening off with that empassioned win at the City Ground.
“We owe ourselves one,” added the City chief. “And I said after the game on Saturday, that I was delighted for the players – and their families.
“People don't understand that when things aren't going well, the families get affected. Wife; girlfriend; if you've got children at school – they all get affected.
“So the first people we owed was them. And everyone else at the club – whether that was at Colney or Carrow Road. Everyone. Because anyone who has got any feeling for Norwich City – we all want the same result every week. We all win, we all draw, we all lose.”
At which point, the City manager insisted that he remains one of the sorest of sore losers – and that length of support has nothing to do with the depth of anger and frustration you can feel.
It might, in part, have been prompted by events at the Annual General Meeting when Roeder's top table 'debut' found him being assailed by shareholders of 50 and 60 years standing – all of whom made the length of their support very plain.
“No supporter must ever, ever think that I'm less wounded than they are when we lose,” stressed Roeder.
“It hurts me badly when we lose. As bad as any of them. Just because you support a club for 50 years doesn't mean that a person that's been at a club one year is less wounded when you lose.
“I hate losing full-stop. And that's why I always fight my corner.”
In fairness, City's cup runneth over with 'fight my corner' spirit on Saturday night as the Sky TV cameras started to roll on that trip to the City Ground.
And after finally breaking his Canary goal-scoring duck after slamming cross-bars and shuddering posts both home and away, Roeder was also busily hoping that Matty Pattison could now go on a little run – now that his aim was that finely tuned. In fact, if a second bus could arrive at home to Palace tonight that would be just perfect.
“He scored plenty of goals in the youth team at Newcastle,” revealed Roeder, who has long had the Geordie-cum-South African under his charge.
“He was an offensive midfield player that made goals and scored goals – and most of the goals he scored were just in and around the box. And when he stepped up to the reserve team at Newcastle he scored plenty of goals in the reserves as well.
“So he hasn't lost the ability to score goals – he's just been unnaturally unlucky. And when you're talking about cross-bars and posts, you're talking about playing with just a few inches. So, hopefully, that'll be the first of many this season.”
Pattison and Sammy Clingan are both certain to start in midfield again with Adam Drury pencilled in for a stand-in gig at centre-half in the expected absence of both the injured Elliot Omosuzi and the suspended Gary Doherty.
Given the manner in which his game was cut short, one would also expect the luckless Wes Hoolahan to get a second bite at the cherry – particularly given Roeder's current lack of in-form – or fit – alternatives.
Antoine Sibierski's lingering knee trouble and Jamie Cureton's chronic lack of confidence leaves just Arturo Lupoli as a rival to Hoolahan for a start; goes with the ex-Blackpool schemer and Norwich will be into the kind of 4-3-3 stroke 4-2-1-3 formation that Roeder waxed lyrical about in yesterday's pre-match Press conference.
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