The instruction, issued to the players some two weeks ago by City chief Bryan Gunn, was very simple.
'Give me the problem…'
And this afternoon they once again delivered – rounding off an unbeaten pre-season in the finest of fashions with a 3-2 win over Premiership visitors Wigan Athletic.
Chrissy Martin's two goals and a second winner in a week from Canary new-boy Simon Whaley were only part of Gunn's 'problems'; working out where, exactly, to best employ the blossoming talents of Wes Hoolahan is another issue he faces in the run-up to next Saturady's League One opener against Colchester United.
And then there is Jon Otsemobor. Deemed Man of the Match by the sponsors this afternoon, the feeling was that he might be playing second fiddle to Michael Spillane this season.
On today's performance, however, it would be a big call to drop him back to the bench for the Us game; Spillane, meanwhile, was enjoying a decent afternoon alongside skipper Gary Doherty as he deputised for the injured Michael Nelson and the ineligible Jens Berthel Askou.
Problems – albeit the kind of problems that a manager actually relishes at this stage of the summer.
What to do with a fully-fit squad in which he could all-but perm any two from four in central midfield; two from four at centre-half; to have a winger with two goals in his first two City appearances, a full-back seemingly refusing to give up his shirt without a fight… and all without a serious injury in sight.
Not a bad summer, in short.
Certainly not for Martin following two, assured finishes off that wider, left-sided role he was handed this afternoon.
“He's done himself no harm at all,” admitted the manager, with Cody McDonald, Goran Maric, Jamie Cureton and Luke Daley all with one eye on that role.
Martin is now the man to shift however after coming back to Norfolk in fine fashion this summer.
“His whole attitude and the way that he has gone about his job in pre-season has been impressive,” said Gunn. The ability was never in doubt; it was attitude that was the issue – invariably a little too much of it. The one-time Beccles teenager has, it appears, left his youthful years behind him.
“We've taken him back from Luton and we've given him an opportunity,” said the Canary boss. “And we feel that there is a player in there that will benefit and help us in League One next season.
“He's got himself top marks today, but as I said to all the players – not only today, but Tuesday night [Crystal Palace] and last Saturday against Manchester United, 'Give me the problem!'
“And they've given me that problem now. They've come through the three games relatively unscathed in terms of injury, so now it's down to picking the right XI and then the seven substitutes to be included in the squad for next week's game against Colchester.”
He also has the small matter of a formation to decide. This afternoon and Norwich ran a horse for a course against a Wigan side fresh from a 4-1 runaround against their Championship neighbours Preston.
Matching like for like might – in theory – have had an element of damage limitation to it given previous summers have seen the Tottenhams and the Arsenals race away with the contest, but faced with the lesser lights of Wigan, Norwich only matched their opponents across the park, in nigh-on every instance they bettered their supposed peers.
And found the kind of platform that was tailor-made for someone of Wes Hoolahan's ilk; Owain Tudur Jones and Stephen Hughes did the leg-work behind him as Wes reached for his party pieces.
“The tactics that we set out was adapted to this game,” said Gunn, as Norwich set their stall out with five across the middle and just Grant Holt alone up front; Hoolahan being given the licence to roam at will; to pop up in more dangerous central areas as opposed to just twinkling away occasionally on the left.
The downside was, of course, that he could also be found dawdling in possession in the centre of the pitch – something that lay at the heart of the Latics' eighth minute opener as Charles N'Zogbia ran riot. Given Wigan have just shelled out ?6 million for the one-time Newcastle United winger, as good as his opening goal was you'd expect him to do it again. He didn't.
Instead it was the likes of Hoolahan, Whaley and Otsemobor that shone against their Premier League opponents; this summer it was their top flight visitors getting the hump, not their hosts as second-half substitute Michael Brown lost his little rag with Hoolahan and was lucky not to see a card of either description.
“It's given us something to think about and whether we can adopt those tactics ourselves for next season,” said Gunn, as City matched Roberto Martinez' favoured set-up – the one he used to such effect in Swansea's climb out of League One.
“We've seen how successful Swansea were in getting out of League One; we have encouraged our players to work the ball out from the back and use the midfield – though we did get caught out for the first goal by doing that.
“But, again, they've shown character and got themselves back into the game on two occasions,” added Gunn, after Martin's first strike was then cancelled out by Won-Hee Cho's 48th minute effort. The forward half of 'The Luton Two' then added his second of the game before Whaley delivered the game's killer goal 14 minutes from the end – albeit courtesy of an absolute peach of a first-time crossfield ball from Hoolahan.
It all proved to be thoroughly entertaining and encouraging fare for the faithful gathered at Carrow Road at the start of a new adventure in the third tier of English football.
Suddenly, the future might not be so bleak after all. On this evidence, Norwich might – just – have something of a ball.
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