City boss Bryan Gunn will spend the next 48 hours in a desperate seeking “a spark” after watching his relegation-haunted City side take two steps back with yesterday's 2-0 defeat at Blackpool.
It is ever thus with the Norfolk side. That after taking a significant step forward with the mid-week away win at Queen's Park Rangers, they then duly managed to return to old ways in front of the 795 fans who made the lengthy trip to Bloomfield Road.
And while Brett Ormerod's 56th minute opener might have had a slightly freakish air to it as his attempted cross arrowed into the top corner, it still didn't disguise a limp and second-best afternoon out from the Canaries.
And with Ricky Martin's FA Youth Cup kids losing out 1-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium an hour earler – complete with the added heart-break of a late, missed penalty – so the weekend brought little by the way of straws to cling to.
For most, it was back to 'Yeovil here we come…' with the Canaries now three points off safety going into Tuesday night's home clash with Cardiff City.
By when, said the ever-defiant Gunn, Norwich need to rediscover some spark after all the spirit and endeavour on show at Loftus Road was notable only by its absence at Bloomfield Road.
“Goals change games,” said the City chief afterwards. “I'm not sure whether it was a cross, a shot… But the moment that went in, it changed everything.”
With the Seasiders suddenly handed their own straw to cling to and Norwich once again seeing Lady Luck desert them, so a big, big result went Blackpool's way.
With 27 points left to play for, the points are still there – Norwich's Championship survival remains in their own hands. It is whether the spirits are still willing – that will be the most worrying question for Gunn and his coaching staff to ponder ahead of Cardiff's visit on Tuesday night.
“We tried to make changes,” he added, after giving new loan signing David Mooney his debut.
“But we didn't show enough spark in the second-half to warrant anything from the game.”
Which would be the worry. To deliver such a flat performance at this particular juncture in the season – and against a side that you really, really wanted to keep down there among the other potential dead men – makes the forthcoming games against Cardiff City and Plymouth crucial.
If they can rediscover the heights spirit-wise of QPR, then Norwich still have a fighting chance. But therein lies the point – fighting. Go out with a bang, not a whimper.
“I said to the players – nobody gives in,” said Gunn. “That's the message.
“27 points – it's a lot of points to play for. And it just makes it a massive week next week,” Gunn told BBC Radio Norfolk afterwards.
“We've got Cardiff coming to Carrow Road on Tuesday evening and it'll be a very tough game. And we've got to make sure that we're still in the hunt after that.”
Trying to explain away such a chalk and cheese display after the heroics of Loftus Road wasn't easy. The bottom line, alas, is that tends to be what you get with players at this level. Those that deliver eight out of ten performances week in, week out tend to ply their trade in higher league. In the Premiership.
“We battled in the first-half, but obviously the goal knocked the stuffing out of the players and lifted the home crowd here. As I say, I was disappointed that there wasn't a spark, but we have to try and find that spark on Tuesday night.”
Where it went was something that he couldn't explain.
“I can't – it's football. And when goals go flying in like that – and I'm sure it was a cross – then the luck is not on your side today. But we've got to show a lot of character now in front of 25,000 people on Tuesday night.
“And I've told the lads that – that's it down to that now. Character.”