City boss Bryan Gunn will gather the Canary family tightly to him as the Norfolk club prepares to potentially meet its Championship maker at The Valley tomorrow lunchtime.
Only two results will save the 107-year-old club from disappearing into the third tier of English football for the first time in nigh-on 50 years – a victory for City in their final game of the season away at an already-doomed Charlton Athletic and a win for a now-safe Plymouth Argyle over Norwich's only remaining rivals for the drop, Barnsley.
And as 3,300 City fans prepare to travel to South-East London tomorrow for the toughest couple of hours of their footballing lives, so Gunn's nearest and dearest are rallying to the cause – led by daughter Melissa and rising Academy star and son Angus.
“I know Melissa is coming down and Angus is coming down,” said the City chief, as an emotional roller-coaster of a ride awaits all concerned. Wife Susan will stick to the safety of the radio.
“Susan's probably a little more nervy, so she's decided to stay behind and listen to Mr Goreham and Mr Adams,” said Gunn, as a big lunch-time show looms for Radio Norfolk's finest.
“So, yes, I've got a lot of tickets on order with Danny at the ticket office – and a lot of people are there to support me. Just as a lot of the players will have their friends and family there to support them.
“And as I said to the players the other evening: 'You never give in, never give in… Not for anything..' So go and do your job for the people that you love. Make them proud.
“And, hopefully, Sunday will be one of those occasions where the lads that take the pitch will put in a performance that makes everyone proud. Not only themselves, their friends and their family but the supporters. And, as I said, do the jersey honour. Finish the season with a victory and who knows what the outcome will be at Home Park?”
Last Wednesday night's Player of the Year dinner caught the manager's mood; defiant and up-beat, there was real inspiration in the air that night – if, and it's a big if, if the players choose to breathe that hope and that belief in.
For at the end of the day, it'll all come down to them – as it always does. Once they cross that famed white line, the final hopes and very real fears of the extended Canary family will lie firmly at their feet.
“The response to the players from the supporters that evening was fantastic,” he said. “And when Sammy Clingan, Gary Doherty and Lee Croft all made their acceptance speeches for their awards, again they were all very positive. Everything I heard and saw that night, gives us hope.”
Both manager and club will not be short of well-wishers tomorrow. Dion Dublin was a guest at the Player of the Year awards; he travelled overnight from his home in the Midlands to show his support; Darren Huckerby has been a regular on the Gunn mobile phone; Darren Eadie added his best wishes on the radio; Spencer Prior is even flying in from Australia just to be at the game.
“The support from the old boys has been fantastic. Words of encouragement – people saying: 'Don't give in!' Because they all want to see this club play at the highest level of competition that it can. So there's a lot of positive people out there; there's a few negative people, but we'll not listen to them just now.”
Norwich City Football Club means an awful lot to an awful lot of people. And Gunn himself has never been short of friends; few would ever wish for his first four months in management to end in the tears that might flow tomorrow.
At least the City boss has no fears that Plymouth won't try to play their part. He and Pilgrims boss Paul Sturrock share a long and rich history together after their heady days at Aberdeen and Dundee United respectively. The 'New Firm' of the early 1980s.
“I know Paul very well and I know he'll be wanting them to finish the season in style and said their fans home with good memories. So I've no worries. I know Plymouth will go out and do a very professional job.
“And it'll be a very difficult game for Barnsley – just as we'll have a very difficult game at The Valley.”
If what is all-but Mission Impossible did come true, just how big an achievement would it be for the 46-year-old Canary goalkeeping legend? His Canary scrap-book alreadu has one or two famous moments within its pages – a stunning save from Adolfo Valencia in the Olympic Stadium, Munich, being just one.
“It'll be a massive achievement,” he admitted.
“That was the mission that we set out with in that first game against Barnsley on January 17th – which we won 4-0 and could yet be the crucial game,” he added, should City's superior goal difference over the Reds come to save their Championship bacon.
“Would it mean as much as anything I did here as a player? Definitely. Definitely,” he said.
“Bigger. Bigger. It'd be the biggest achievement. And the backing of the players and the supporters all the way through it has been inspiring as well.
“As it was sitting next to the Aviva Fan of the Year Ian Ketteringham at the Player of the Year dinner. Last year he was coming and watching Norwich City play; this year, he's come and he can't see due to his genetic disorder in his eyes.
“The players listened to that story and that was an inspiration to them – he's certainly not given up on the club even though he can't actually see us play football. He hears us; he's part of the atmosphere; he's just one of many inspirational scenarios that we hope the players will react to.”