I think it would be pushing it to suggest that Norfolk – or rather the greater global community that is the Canary family – is in the grip of 'derby fever'.
That particular term has always struck me as being somehow almost pleasant; little more than a hot flush of excitement; with the odd touch of heart-burn. The more serious cases might suffer from the occasional stomach cramp – particularly the night before.
Otherwise, going down with 'derby fever' is nothing to be unduly feared; 99% of that said Canary community will always feel slightly different in the days running up to a meeting with the neighbours.
Right now, however, and you get a strong sense that this week's 'derby fever' conceals a far deeper malaise; there is a very real and a very genuine fear that even a resounding home victory on Sunday might not wholly cure Norwich City's ills.
As welcome as those three points would be – and the Monday morning bragging rights that success inevitably brings – it will still only be a temporary reprieve; Watford (a) and Reading (a) will see the patient return to intensive care; the long-term prognosis still firmly up in the air.
In part, the current dark mood will be a reflection of the wider world. We all live in hugely uncertain times. And when our joint Saturday afternoon 'religion' likewise fails to offer anything by way of certainty, security or safety – be it in either the level of entertainment on offer or the points reward that awaits – so society's uneasy, fearful mood haunts even our trips to Carrow Road.
What was once supposed to be this release from the daily anxieties of life, now it merely compounds them as everything we hold dear comes under threat.
As much as Delia's return to pinnie duty at the grand old age of 67 might have papered over one or two cracks financially, it is still little more than a sticking plaster solution; a short-term fix to keep the men from the likes of HBOS and RBS at bay asbankers the world over look to weasel their way out of any outstanding financial commitment; anything that leaves their butt in the air and their trousers down.
So we live in very dark times. And off the field, there is little by way of a light at the end of the tunnel. Just Delia, her 'brand' and her books.
I guess that's not wholly true. Peter Cullum is out there somewhere; whispering sweet nothings out of the darkness. Whether he is actually seen in a positive, helpful light these days is increasingly a moot point. The manner in which he just chips away at everyone's patience and resolve – without ever actually really saying what he intends – can start to gain a mischevious, if not malevolent air.
He lurks. And 'lurks' is not exactly a positive term. His latest 'I'll not see City crash…' contribution doesn't move the debate on; there is a real sense that only when you're about to switch the life-support machine off will he step in; he'll make his move when Norwich are rock bottom; not teetering around the 19th spot mark.
Does it win him any friends? Not sure it does.
On the pitch and there is equally little reason for good cheer.
On paper, are Norwich better than their current position suggests? Yes. Are they a better squad of players than this time last year? Yes.
So, why if they can sweep Wolves away one week with such contemptuous ease, why can't they do it again against lesser mortals?
And for as long as the manager fails to deliver the kind of results on the pitch that answers that fairly basic question, so the doubts, the unease and the anxieties remain.
Hopefully, a resounding FA Youth Cup win tonight will give the punters hope; that the Korey Smiths and the Tom Adeyemis of the world will live up to their pre-match billing and ease City into the next round in the same kind of compelling manner that they despatched 'Arsenal Reserves' last month.
There's hope; there's a straw to cling to. That the kids are going to be OK; that somewhere in the depths of Colney, the club are producing the kind of talents – and, above all, the kind of physical specimens – that you need to compete in this division.
And here, for me, lies an opportunity for Roeder to give the punters hope going into one of the biggest derby fixtures in recent memory.
Because, as sure as eggs is eggs, a certain Danny Haynes will be sat on the Town bench. Whether Ipswich are winning or losing come the hour mark, Jim Magilton will give the kid a run out. Particularly if Ryan Bertrand is playing.
Why wouldn't you? Haynes ripped the on-loan Chelsea starlet to pieces at Portman Road. Destroyed him.
But there's the straw that the Town faithful cling to in these dark times; that their kids are OK – that an Owen Garvan can pass Norwich off the park just as Haynes is running amok down the channels.
So fight fire with fire. Or, if nothing else, threaten to fight fire with fire. If they do well tonight, throw a kid onto the bench. Get Adeyemi digging in to Garvan for the last 20 minutes; these kids know what derby day means. They've been playing them since they were 12 or 13.
Fine, give them an extended run-out in April. They may well not be ready to even then. But the faithful need hope now, not in five months time.
They need a straw to cling to as everything they hold dear threatens to implode; threatens to do a Leicester or a Leeds.
Give them a lifeline; a light in their darkness.