City boss Bryan Gunn this morning made another welcome departure from the norm when he held his hands up and took his share of the blame for Tuesday night's home draw with Southampton.
Flying at the break and already two goals to the good, the new Canary chief was big enough to suggest his half-time team talk might have played its part in Norwich's subsequent downfall – that perhaps he had unwittingly sowed a seed of doubt in the players' minds as the Saints dug out a point for City's second-half defensive troubles.
By so doing, Gunn is clearly making a break from recent traditions when managers are never at fault, only the players.
By sharing that responsibility – and the attendant messageboard flak that comes with it – Gunn is clearly trying to install an 'All for one and one for all!' mentality within that Colney dressing; no them and us; no 'I' in 'teamwork'.
“I might have said the wrong thing at half time,” he openly admitted, speaking ahead of tomorrow night's trip to Doncaster Rovers.
“Because we were 2-0 up and I said: 'The next goal is the important one'.”
Which, for many, it was. City score, Saints are gone. Dead. Buried. Southampton score and – wittingly or not – players and supporters alike are looking over their shoulder and wondering whether a heart-breaking leveller was en route. It was.
“I probably put a bit of doubt in our boys because they went 2-1. And I probably shouldn't have said that. So I'm taking responsibility on that as well in the dressing room.
“But we can't do anything about that now. We can learn from what happened; we can learn that we close the ball down quicker; we can learn that we don't fall deep into our penalty box; we learn that space doesn't score goals, people do.”
In the meantime, however, the rookie Canary chief has also learnt the importance of getting new bodies into the building – particularly when anything can happen in the final 96 hours of the January transfer window.
Cue the arrival of on-loan Blades winger David Carney.
“It's good – he's the first addition to the squad and gives us good balance on the left-hand side,” said Gunn, revealing that he had tracked the one-time Everton youngster for a while; that it wasn't just Ian Crook's arrival of the plan from Sydney that set this ball in motion. Though it clearly helped.
“I knew about him before he signed for Sheffield United,” he said. “I'd spoken to his agent; I'd seen clips of him; watched him on a DVD. And an Australian international.
“But at the time we had Darren Huckerby in the squad so it wasn't vital to push him forward. And then he signed for Sheffield United.”
It leaves the City boss with an abundance of riches on the left. For those who like a good conspiracy, it leaves the way open for David Bell to switch over to his natural right, Carney to play left and Lee Croft to…
The City chief remained confident, however, that the Croft contract saga was moving towards a positive conclusion as talks in earnest open this morning.
“I've had a chat with Lee and we've opened negotiations with his representative – and that was probably happening at some stage this morning – and we'll probably be able to give you an update after the game on Friday night as to where we are.
“But from my discussions with Lee he was very positive about Norwich City. And he's very focussed on the job ahead – and that's important to me. It's important to the fans. That he's committed to the jersey.”
People have been nibbling – about Croft and others. “I've had phone calls about a few of our players,” said Gunn. “But the conversations didn't last too long with certain managers. And I've left it there – I don't need to sell.”
He confirmed that he was hopeful of more bodies before Monday's 5pm deadline; and that D Purse was, indeed, in the building on Tuesday night.
“We have spoken to Cardiff – but that's as far as its gone at the moment,” he said.
As for the Rovers trip, Gunn was hopeful of a full-fit squad to select from after one or two bumps and knocks emerged out of that 2-2 draw with Southampton.
“I came in yesterday and they were still bumps and knocks, but I don't think we'll have any problems,” he said, with the likes of Mark Fotheringham, Croft and Jonathan Grounds likely to be fit for duty.
Skipper Fotheringham is the biggest doubt for the trip to South Yorkshire. Suspended next week, you would expect the ever-willing Scot to be busting a gut – or a bruised Achilles – to be playing tomorrow night. Particularly now that the new management team have another midfield option up their sleeve.
“It was a bad kick down the back of his Achilles,” Gunn reported. “He had a bit of treatment yesterday; had a bit of treatment after the game.
“But knowing Fozzy [Fotheringham] he wanted to stay on, so basically we had to drag him off; he was limping when he was running so we didn't want to make it any worse. But they all should be fine.”