City defender Gary Doherty merely confirmed what nigh-on every Canary fan will now be thinking – that the next two home games are massive.
Saturday's luckless 2-0 defeat at Reading pinned the struggling Norfolk side ever more firmly in the bottom six, but with home games against first Charlton Athletic and then Nottingham Forest to come, a brief respite is within their grasp.
Two wins and it could find the Canaries perched on a timely ledge; able to draw breath, peer into the very depths of Delia's piggy-bank and try and work out where-on-Earth next as the January transfer window prepares to swing open for business.
Charlton have their own six-point fixture tonight when the Addicks play host to Derby County. Live on Sky, after last week's morale-sapping home defeat by Coventry City, caretaker boss Phil Parkinson knows he and his players have to start to deliver.
“We have to make sure we put in a performance which is full of character, passion and commitment – that is absolutely essential,” said Parkinson, admitting that such qualities were absent in that 2-1 home defeat by the Sky Blues which left Charlton rooted firmly to the bottom of the table.
In fairness to Glenn Roeder's Canaries, the last three games – against Ipswich, Watford and now Reading – have not found them wanting on those three essentials. Character, passion and commitment have been there in abundance.
The essentials that have been missing relate more to the simple footballing acts of scoring a goal when glorious opportunity knocks – and cutting out individual errors. Fail on both accounts and you end up with nothing for your efforts at first Vicarage Road and then the Madejski.
“What we wanted to show was a good, gritty performance – and that's what we did today,” said Doherty, with all going to plan until the 83rd minute when skipper Mark Fotheringham was adjudged to have handled the ball under pressure from Royals substitute Shane Long.
And it was downhill from there as Long then added the killer second three minutes later and John Kennedy disappeared with what was feared to be fresh damage to his long-troubled knee.
“I've looked at it and it looks like a dodgy penalty,” said the 28-year-old, minus the venom that Roeder brought to the post-match debate and the role that referee Trevor Kettle ad to play in Norwich's latest away-day reverse – their seventh in their last eight trips on the road.
“Mark's instinctively put his arm out and it's obviously touched his arm, so it's disappointing because that was the only way that they were going to score. I didn't really feel that they were going to break us down, so we're obviously gutted in there.”
David Marshall had, in fairness, very little to do all afternoon before the wheels came off the Norwich wagon in traditionally spectacular fashion.
“He's had a few long distance shots, but I thought we defended quite well,” sad Doherty, back at his obdurate best at the heart of that ever-changing Canary rearguard.
With Lee Croft continuing his lively form and Sammy Clingan being, well, Sammy Clingan, there were some individual performances on show that belie City's lowly position in the table. But, alas, the table doesn't lie – not at the halfway mark of a season.
Norwich are where the are because – be it individually or collectively – they haven't been good enough. Either when or where it matters.
“We didn't defend too well against Watford – we played well, but two disappointing goals,” said Doherty. “So it was important that we put on a good defensive show and I think we did that. It's just obviously disappointing that the penalty has changed the game.”
He wasn't about to skip the issue. “Our form has been excellent – but our results have been poor of late,” said the one-time Republic of Ireland international, as the Canaries reverse the old adage about it being the sign of a good team that it can play badly and win. Norwich are playing well and losing.
“But once the decisions start turning for us, we get a bit of luck – the balls that are flashing across the box go in for us – I think we can start pushing on.”
Only minus Kenendy. The on-loan Celtic defender looks to have made his last appearance in a City shirt given both the manner of his 89th minute exit and the fact that he was due to be returning to Parkhead in a fortnight anyway.
“I don't think it was a great one,” admitted his defensive partner, with Dejan Stefanovic having already succumbed to a big knee injury it would be a tragedy for all concerned if City added a second to that collection. Particularly given the individual involved.
“Obviously it's too early to tell at the minute,” said Doherty, speaking just 45 minutes after the final whistle. “It's feeling quite sore at the minute, but hopefully – touch wood – it'll be OK.”
All eyes now, however, are on those two forthcoming home fixtures – most veteran City watchers will have long ruled out prising anyting from Selhurst Park on a Boxing Day.
“Yes – they're massive games,” said Doherty. “Our home form has been decent with the Ipswich win – and it's got everyone on a high.
“But we've got to stay positive. Because we've played well. We've played well against Sheffield Wednesday; we've played well away at Watford; we've played well here today.
“So, like I say, we're playng well; things are going to start going in for us when we're creating chances and decisions will start going our way soon.”