One-time Essex scaffolder Cody McDonald could face the night of his young footballing life tonight as the Canaries prepare for one of the biggest games in the club's 107-year history.
Saturday's results – in particular, the three draws for City's relegation rivals Barnsley, Nottingham Forest and Plymouth – kept the Norfolk side in with a chance of pulling off The Great Escape over the course of the next six days.
Victory tonight at home to Reading and a win at Charlton in 'Showdown Sunday' next weekend would keep Bryan Gunn's side in the Championship.
Defeat this evening and the Canaries could ever hope to over-haul Barnsley on that final day. And then only on goal difference; provided, of course, that the Reds lost at Plymouth.
Which is why the Canaries desperately need to take all three points from this evening's final home game of the season.
And with David Mooney unable to play against his full-time employers and Lee Croft rated less than 50-50 to shrug off that calf strain in time for the Royals game, so there is every chance that Master McDonald will step into Gunn's first team thinking and start the game alongside Alan Lee.
“They have worked together in training,” admitted Gunn, quizzed as to whether the Lee-McDonald combination might have the kind of natural, big man-little man 'feel' that might just work on night's like these.
Lee the old-fashioned centre-forward, McDonald the eager young thing happy to play off the last defender's shoulder – it makes sense. On paper.
“It certainly has got the sounds of a good partnership,” added Gunn. “You've got the experience and the youth which could blend nicely as well.
“So, yes, we'll be looking closely at that and a couple of other options that we might need to change to during the match.”
It wasn't, of course, too long ago that McDonald was just AN Other non-league hot-shot who spent his days erecting scaffolding in the London Underground.
Now, however, the young man from Witham is about to make his TV debut on tonight's live, Sky game – and all with that 'No fear!' mentality running right through his every footballing deed.
“He's just loving every minute of it,” said his manager, who deserves every credit for having the wit to actually go and see the young Dartford striker play himself – and all-but sign him there and then; right under the nose of a dozen watching scouts.
“I know that if we did put us in the starting line-up, he wouldn't let us down,” said Gunn. “He's got that freshness about him – he'll go out there and give his all. And that's all you can ask.”
In fairness to the young man, he appears to have the ability to make things happen whenever he arrives on the pitch; there is something there – as he proved in last week's derby clash at Portman Road when he tucked up ex-Real Madrid star Ivan Campo a complete treat away, tight on the far touchline.
He also saw a late header loop just over – albeit if te better shout might have been to let Mooney have the pop behind him.
“He'll have seen all these guys on television, I'm sure,” said Gunn. “And being local to Ipswich he will have known about Norwich City and Ipswich Town.
“But he went on there and there was no fear and, as I say, if he is given an opportunity I know he will not let us down. He's certainly high in our thoughts for a place.”
Whilst defeat is, effectively, the 'Thanks and good-night..!' option as regards Norwich's on-going membership of the Championship; victory would see Norwich claw their way out of the bottom three and drop Barnsley back in it after they failed to poop Wolves' title party at Oakwell.
And whilst everything would still be firmly up for grabs again at The Valley, the fact that the Reds faced a tricky trip to Home Park – and all with Plymouth knowing that they themselves were still in the mire – would all strengthen Norwich's hand.
Which is why a win is everything tonight. And therein lies another managerial dilemma for City's new chief – does he go out all guns blazing from the very first minute and risk leaving the back door open against the Royals? Or does he play a more a cagey game for openers and see how the contest develops?
“If three points can be gained on Monday night, that will give us the best chance of fighting and scratching [our way out] against Charlton on the final day of the season,” he said.
“So, tactically, we need to be looking sound defensively but looking to go forward on as many occasions as we can and threaten the Reading goal. But, defensively, we have also got to be very mindful that they have got some very good strikers that have been quite prolific this season.
“So the 11 players – or the 14 – that take to the field will have to be at the top of their game.
“The motivation will be there; the backing from the fans once they get out onto the pitch will be there – it'll be a special evening on Monday night a Carrow Road. And we've got the added extra of having the live cameras here as well. So the players will want to go out and do their best in those circumstances.”
And, ideally, take a leaf from Master McDonalds book – and play with no fear…