City boss Bryan Gunn will have to do his sums very carefully if he decides to add an extra face to his survival-hunting pack ahead of tomorrow's very final transfer deadline of the season.
For many years the fourth Thursday in March was the cut-off point for transfer – full-time or part-time; Premiership or Championship.
But the introduction of the FIFA-wide transfer window system changed all that – certainly for as far as the top flight clubs are concerned. For them business ended on January 31 and they won't be able to add to their squads again until the summer.
The Football League, however, have always managed to keep an 'emergency loan' market operating until the fourth Thursday in March – hence tomorrow is the last opportunity for the blossoming Canary manager to twiddle and tweak with his squad ahead of the final run-in.
All the signs were that Gunn would go with what he's got striker-wise – notwithstanding today's news that short-term contract striker Carl Cort is likely to be sidelined for the remainder of the season following a painful operation on a food pad problem – a bursa, for the more medically-minded.
But with ex-Town striker Alan Lee having already been successfully drafted into Colney on loan from Crystal Palace, so Cort's replacement is already in the building – and in the team.
“One of the reasons for bringing Alan Lee in was knowing Carl's situation,” Gunn told the club's official website today.
“Alan is a big, powerful striker and with the other strikers we've got at the club – David Mooney, Alan Gow, Cody McDonald, Jamie Cureton – we feel we've got a good mix, a good blend which will see us through to the end of the season.”
Mooney's loan deal from Reading was, of course, originally only for the month. But with all parties apparently happy to see that deal extended through to the first week in May, Lee and Mooney are likely to be two of the five English-based loan players that any one club is allowed to field at any one time.
Which may yet weigh heavily on Gunn's calculations as he tries to decide whether he's got enough bodies in place to get him through to the end of the season intact.
Jason Shackell is a rock-solid certainty to provide the third; Ryan Bertrand will be a fourth.
All of which ensures that David Carney and Adrian Leijer could end up squabbling to be the fifth and final domestically-based loan player.
One of the above will always have to miss out; whether Gunn then wants to add a seventh to the list and have two players twiddling their thumbs on the sidelines every week is another matter.
The fact that Simon Lappin has returned from the cold gives the manager a reliable option at cenre-mid, left-wing and left-back. Adam Drury's return to fitness of late again adds to the strength and experience at the manager's disposal down that flank.
And then, of course, there's the two freshest faces on the block in the shape of Ricky Martin's FA Youth Cup stars Korey Smith and Tom Adeyemi.
Both were proudly sat on the bench a St Andrew's; both said the manager afterwards, were there by right.
They too now need to be factored into Gunn's squad-thinking; Smith to offer cover at right-back; Adeyemi promising to add some raw, box-to-box athleticism in centre-midfield.
Put all of the above together and it could yet prove to be a quiet day at the office transfer-wise tomorrow.
As for the luckless Cort, at least this week's operation was not of the knee variety.
Whether he has done enough fitness and character-wise to persuade Gunn to see if he'd fancy another tour of duty in Norfolk next year is another matter.
The character question, you suspect, has long been answered. On that front, he's made of the right stuff.
Whether that long-troubled knee is these days is something for all to ponder before anyone commits themselves to a longer-term deal. Pay-as-you-play could again be the option.
“His commitment and his bravery we've got to commend, because he put his body on the line for the club and the more characters we have like that in the squad the better,” said Gunn, a view-point that should serve Cort well – if he wanted to hang around next season.
The deciding factor, as ever, will be his injury record.
“Obviously we're disappointed that we've lost Carl now though we're not sure yet of the exact length of time that will involve. But it needed repairing, which was identified and Carl very bravely played on for three or four games with pain-killers and injections,” said Gunn, who with Lee in place decided that enough was enough.
Cort had gone an injection too far in the Canary cause.
“We came to a crossroads where we needed to make a decision for his own well-being and hopefully now for Carl the operation will be a success and it will give him the opportunity to regain his fitness as soon as possible.”