City boss Glenn Roeder found himself squarely in the firing line this evening after the Canaries slumped to a disastrous 3-2 home defeat by managerless Nottingham Forest.
Robert Earnshaw's killer third goal moments from time brought an instant chorus of 'Roeder out!' from the home faithful.
And while a second, Forest own goal seconds later took some of the sting out of the occasion and spared the Canary chief further indignities at the final whistle, there is little doubt that his managerial reign is under the spotlight like never before as City find themselves just two points above the bottom three.
With only Charlton offering a more feeble recent record as both Doncaster Rovers and Forest continue to power away from the drop zone, so the Canaries could find themselves slap, bang, in it after their next little away trip at Sheffield United on January 10.
“I have to say that there were periods in the game where, if I was one of our supporters, I would have got frustrated as well,” said Roeder, quizzed as to the increasingly testy reaction among the home faithful.
“But I have to say I thought they were very good; when we did have periods when we were on top, they got right behind us. And when we didn't play so well, they obviously let the players know.
“And I haven't got a problem with that.”
Did he have a problem with the questions that were fired in his direction? There was a burst of 'You don't know what you're doing?' when Antoine Sibierski replaced Matty Pattison in the second-half.
“The players know that they have to play well to keep the crowd on-side,” he said. “And I don't ever comment on that [on the criticism aimed in his direction]. I've been in the game too long.”
With just those three points from the last nine, this particular Yule is proving very short on goodwill as opportunities to drag City out of a poisonous mire come and go.
“We've missed a lot of opportunities over the past two months to put some daylight between ourselves and the bottom three,” said Roeder, holding out the prospect of signing Leroy Lita on a half-season long loan.
“We have really thrown away points. And we've done that again today. It's frustrating; it's annoying. You've just got to keep working hard on the training ground and keep the players believing in themselves.”
The fun and games started, effectively, from the whistle as Forest proved the brighter and the sharper of the sides from the off. City weren't at the races. Period.
Twice first Ryan Bertrand and then Elliot Omosuzi would need to pull big tackles out of the bag as Forest threatened to wriggle through the huge holes opening up in front of the City back four.
Which was exactly where Matt Thornhill found himself in the 17th minute as Nathan Tyson pulled a deep centre back across the face of the Canary penalty area.
Handed both time and space a-plenty, the Forest midfielder could pick his spot in off David Marshall's right-hand upright as the visitors early enthusiasm earned its due reward.
City briefly rallied as Lee Croft stretched his defender and David Bell would see his shot blocked; Sammy Clingan would hammer a decent 30-yarder just wide moments later.
All of which, however, counted for nothing as Forest – 'fresh' from that humiliating 4-2 home defeat by Doncaster Rovers and Calderwood's swift exit thereafter – duly doubled their lead.
Lewis McGugan slipped away from Clingan's sliding tackle and walked through the space where two centre-halves should have been. After that, all it needed was the simplest of tucks beneath the late-advancing Marshall and Roeder was firmly reeling on the managerial ropes.
Pattison offered almost a lone moment of genuine quality as he lifted a superb, 41st minute lob goalward from 22-yards out that Lee Camp did well to claw over his bar.
It did little to spare Roeder a resounding chorus of 'What a load of rubbish!' at the interval.
Darel Russell's arrival at the break for David Bell raised the odd eye-brow; Sibierski's for Pattison just before the hour-mark raised a bitter chorus of 'You don't know what you're doing…' from the Snake Pit. 'Sacked in the morning!' responded the gleeful travelling Forest fans delighted to have stumbled across a side with a softer centre than their own.
In fairness, City started to dig themselves out of a very big hole with a 72nd minute reply courtesy of Ian Breckin's own goal. It was due reward for some decent pressure as Hoolahan and Croft pressed and Lita and Sibierski threatened.
In the end, Croft's deep corner would find Gary Doherty heading against the bar and Russell stabbing goalward. Cue an awful slice from Breckin into the top left-hand corner.
And, so, hope sprang eternal once more. Lita almost rode to the rescue three minutes from the end with a downward header from a fine, Sibierski cross – only to be matched by Lee Camp's diving save.
Less than a minute later and Earnie was back. With a vengence. As most knew that he would; it was in the script.
Joe Garner added the game's second own goal with a diving header off a Hoolahan cross in the final seconds, but the damage had long been done.
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