Born-again Canary midfielder Simon Lappin has asked City boss Bryan Gunn to count him in again for next season as his love affair with Norfolk continues.
Given the treatment meted out to the 26-year-old under previous managerial regimes, it is a testament to Lappin's unflinching character that he is still in the building.
Lesser hearts would have long since disappeared over the horizon.
Now firmly back in the first team fold after being frozen out completely under Glenn Roeder, the versatile Scot has his sights firmly set on winning a new contract this summer and earning an extended stay under the new administration.
“I've let the manager know that I want to be here for the long-term,” said Lappin, who has earned many a mention in despatches of late for his exemplary attitude. Even Roeder had to give him that. He just never even included him in his senior squad.
“My contract's up [in the summer] and I don't know what's going to happen. But I've let him know that I want to be here; that I want to be part of his plans.
“I've always had faith in my own ability – it was just a case of getting the opportunity to show that,” he said. “And, thankfully, the manager's given me that.”
Certainly, he appears to have many a fan among the supporters. Loyalty is an all-too rare quality in football these days. The usual response would have been to throw the toys out of the pram and flounce off somewhere else. Not Lappin.
“It's been great to be back playing,” admitted Lappin, who stepped into the breach for the suspended Darel Russell in the 1-1 draw at St Andrews and was there alongside Sammy Clingan again for the 1-0 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.
“It's something that I've waited a long time for and it's just a shame that we haven't had the results to go with it – especially on Saturday,” he added, after being condemned to train with the kids for months on end under Roeder. His sin? To be tarred with the same, 'Plymouth Brethren' brush as the likes of the truly hapless Ian Murray and Julien Brellier – a fate Lappin never deserved.
“Saturday's result was a bit disappointing, but personally it's great to be back in the side.”
It left the Canaries hovvering one point above the drop zone. The fact that neither Watford nor Barnsley were able to take much advantage of that defeat last night will have come as something of a blessing for Gunn and Co.
“It was a disappointment, but we've got to bounce back from it,” he said. “We can't dwell on it.
“We've got a tough game away at Swansea now and we need to prepare right for that; be mentally right for that one because it'll be a tough one as well.
“But all the boys believe that we can go there and get a result.”
With the home clash with Watford to swiftly follow, another big weekend looms.
“I think we've known for a while that every game between now and the end of the season is going to be massive and this weekend is going to be no different,” said Lappin.
“Away to Swansea and then at home to Watford – they're two massive games. But we all believe – the staff and everyone in the dressing room – that we can get points from these games.”
The fact that he is now back on centre stage and there's just five games left of the season is one of the many ironies that now follow the 'Plymouth Brethren' – the half a dozen or so faces that featured in that 3-0 away defeat at Home Park – and, basically, never featured again whilst Roeder was in charge.
For example, two of their number – the 'Luton Two' of Chrissy Martin and Michael Spillane – now have a Wembley winners mdel to their name after their Jonstone's Paints Trophy success on Sunday.
“Yes – it's coming to an end too soon for me,” Lappin admitted. “But as long as we're safe come the first week of May, then I'll be absolutely delighted. And, hopefully, we can get a result this weekend.”
He has certainly been through the mill. “It was a bit disappointing,” he admitted, staying ever the diplomat.
“I went away on loan to Motherwell and had a great time there – it gave me an opportunity to play football. Which is what I always wanted to do. But I wanted to come back here and prove that I was worth a place in the side.
“And I never got that opportunity under the previous regime. So at times it was frustrating – you're kind of banging your head against a wall; you dn't know what to do.
“But, thankfully, I've now got it all behind me now. I'm back involved – and that's what I want to be.”
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