City skipper Mark Fotheringham echoed the thoughts of his manager after yesterday's 1-0 defeat at play-off hunting Preston North End – that Norwich's survival this season rests in either penalty area.
In the one they have to stay switched on and focussed from first minute to last. And not allow a tame free-kick to be pumped long onto the toes of a Chris Brown. Or, indeed, a Jon Parkin.
In the other, they have to find a harder, more direct edge; and not look to walk the ball into the net. That's one luxury they cannot afford with the drop zone still just two points distant.
“We're killing ourselves in both penalty boxes,” said Fotheringham, after the lumbering Parkin's fifth goal of the season condemned Bryan Gunn's side to their second, successive defeat and added another video nasty to the coaches' collection.
You can defend with all the passion and integrity in the world for 89 minutes, but it's that one minute that you don't that will kill you; the one minute you take your foot off the gas; your brain out of gear. The fact that it was the 42nd minute merely added insult to injury – ask any Sunday parks coach and even he knows that the five minutes either side of the interval are the key moments in any contest.
It is when all too many games are won and lost.
“We need to concentrate a little bit more in terms of being a little bit more solid in those areas,” said Fotheringham, restored to a starting role at Deepdale this weekend following Sammy Clingan's thigh injury.
“And finishing teams off in the opposition's penalty box,” he added, after the Canaries ruffled all-too few feathers going forward. You can pass and move all day between one box and the other, but once you see the whites of a keeper's eyes you have to deliver an end product.
Without it, City will continue to flirt alarmingly with relegation between now and the end of the season.
“We're really down,” the Canary skipper told BBC Radio Norfolk afterwards.
“We feel that we've come here against a team who is in the top six… and it's the same story every time. We're performing against these teams and not taking the results.”
Wolves away was one case in point; Jamie Cureton had two big, big chances to deliver a huge away win only for another defensive lapse to eventually cost the Canaries dear as Darel Russell gave away possession in the final third. More care and greater concentration – two messages for Gunn and his coaching team to try and hammer home again ahead of next Saturday's home clash with Burnley.
“We're in a fight now,” said Fotheringham, as the final bend starts to unwind leaving just 13 games down the home straight in which Norwich have to save their Championship bacon.
“And we're going to have to see some brave characters who are willing to go and take the ball next week at home.”
The fact that Plymouth are dropping like a stone is one bonus; the fact that Watford have now got three games in hand on City is one fear.
“It's a great incentive for Watford obviously, but in saying that we can't worry about what other teams are doing,” said the City midfielder, whose first-half deflected shot was pretty much as close as Norwich came to prising something out of the game.
“We've just got to concentrate on ourselves – and just get that little bit of luck going our way. I always believe that if you work hard in your life, you get the rub of the green. And the lads here are definitely working hard enough.
“It's just disappointing that we can't take the win today because we played well against a really good side. We matched them in every department.
“But there's still a lot of football to be played; there's still 13 games – Burnley will be a tough test, Coventry will be a tough test. But they're two home games and we believe that we can beat anyone at home.”
Just as long as Andy D'Urso isn't the referee…
“It takes brave men,” added Fotheringham, quizzed as to what Norwich need now. “Men who are willing to go out and fight for the jersey.”