City boss Bryan Gunn had to be at his very diplomatic best this evening after the ever-popular Andy D'Urso did his best to steal all the headlines in the midst of today's 2-1 home defeat by Bristol City.
The game turned on probably the one, big decision that the Billericay official got right all afternoon – handing Canary skipper Gary Doherty a red card for bringing down Dele Adebola deep in the City box a minute before the break after a horror kick from City keeper David Marshall fell at the feet of the Robins' striker.
Either side of that decision, however, and D'Urso was back in the kind of hot water that found ex-boss Glenn Roeder blowing his fuse away at Ashton Gate last season. He and Lee Clark.
Darel Russell, Carl Cort and Adam Drury all had huge appeals for a spot-kick waved away – Russell for a handball, Cort for a clear, two-handed shirt pull and Drury for being flattened by a shoulder charge from goal-scorer Bradley Orr.
Gunn tried not to bite; he was hoping not to follow Roeder and his No2 Lee Clark on a trip to Soho Square where a fine and a touchline ban awaited on the back of D'Urso's antics at Ashton Gate.
But it was clearly hard work. And he had been warned.
“My 13-year-old boy Angus he sent me a text and said: 'D'Urso is the ref…
“And I didn't really realise what he meant. But he hasn't got a high opinion of him either.”
It was Orr's challenge on Drury in the 71st minute which commanded most of Gunn's obvious anger. That one he had watched again on video; that was the one he waited the required 30-minutes for before knocking politely on the door of the referee's room in search of an answer for the man that he asked to run the line at his Testimonial Match.
“I did try to speak to the referee after the game and was told: '30 minutes'; me being new to the management game and not realising the rules and regulations; I respected that and when I went back in after 30 minutes and one second, I didn't really get anything back.
“But we've seen the pictures and on the screen that I saw there was only three people – one was their right-back, one was our left-back and the other was the referee. So how that decision comes about beggars belief.
“And Andy D'Urso I thought was a mate of mine. He ran the line at my Testimonial Match and I gave him either a CD player or a DVD player. Something like that. And I went in to see Andy and I think he knows he made a mistake.
“You can look in peoples' eyes and see. And he didn't say anything.”
That all said, a spot of credit to Bristol; they played well and looked like a team rolling on towards a play-off spot on the back of six wins from their last seven league outings.
And their eventual winner was another self-inflicted wound on Norwich's part as Marshall's initial mis-kick fell straight to Adebola's feet.
That's where all the problems started as the Robins' striker rolled forward into the City area; no argument that it was a clear goal-scoring opportunity, nor that Doherty was the last defender.
Orr's neat dink down the middle gave Marshall little or no chance to redeem himself as he dived away to his left.
It was rough justice on the Canaries. They deserved to be level, at least, as Cort carried on where he left off against Wolves on Tuesday and went about his work with genuine menace and purpose.
It was his far post header against the post that teed up Jonathan Grounds for City's 24th minute leveller after Cole Skuse's 14th minute opener; it was also Cort's aerial threat that had Robins skipper Louis Carey grabbing two handfuls of his shirt shortly afterwards – a decision that D'Urso proceeded to get horribly wrong.
With Sammy Clingan handed the stand-in centre-half role for the second-half as Mark Fotheringham replaced Jamie Cureton, it was Cort who continued to pose the biggest threat – a smart, back-heel in the 50th minute almost setting Lee Croft in.
He would rightly leave to a standing ovation 15 minutes from the end; Cort's contribution being one, six-foot four-inch straw to cling to.
Marshall would partly redeem himself before the end with three, decent saves as the Canaries pushed forward and left holes at the back.
But, by then, the damage was done; Doherty had gone and will be sat on the sidelines suspended for the trip to Preston North End next weekend.
By when City fans can only hope that Gunn proves as good as his word and AN Other centre-half is in the building.