City striker Chrissy Martin was taken nothing for granted ahead of next week's League One opener against Colchester United – despite having put Premiership Wigan Athletic firmly in their place at Carrow Road this weekend.
The 20-year-old's double strike was just one of many big plusses to emerge from yesterday's eye-catching 3-2 win over the visiting Latics – two, sweet and confident strikes either side of the interval that, capped with Simon Whaley's second winner in the space of five days, ensures that the Norfolk side will fly into next Saturday's 'East Anglian derby' with the Us.
Whether they will head into battle with Martin in alongside Grant Holt is just one of a clutch of big decisions awaiting City boss Bryan Gunn between now and then.
If Martin were only keeping Goran Maric's place warm after City failed to get the required paperwork processed in time for the Latics' clash, then the Canary manager might need a re-think. That, at least, was Martin's hope afterwards.
“Obviously I was very happy to score,” said one half of the famed 'Luton Two'; the other one – defender Michael Spillane – did his own cause no harm either after slotting in effortlessly alongside skipper Gary Doherty as Jens Berthel Askou's paperwork was likewise stuck in a fax machine somewhere.
“But, nore importantly, the team won,” added Martin. “And it's a big boost for our morale going into the first game of the season.”
Judging anything on the strength of one pre-season performance is fraught with peril; many a confident prediction has come a-cropper once the real thing starts.
But given this was a Wigan side that arrived at Carrow Road fresh from a comfortable 4-1 win over Championship neighbours Preston North End, City's 3-2 success – having twice come back from behind – ought not to be sniffed at.
Individually, there were some big performances on offer. And while Martin's opener might have owed much to the work of Jon Otsemobor down the right as the Canary full-back made the very most of some sloppy defending by his opposite number Maynor Figueroa in the 37th minute, Martin's second on the 57th minute was all his own work – pushing the ball across a wrong-footed Latics defender before drilling the ball beneath a well-beaten Mike Pollitt from some 12 yards out.
“I was just happy to get on the scoresheet,” said the one-time England Under-19 striker, refusing to be drawn on whether it was all enough to book his place in the side to face the Us.
“Obviously every player out there is trying to stake a claim to be in the starting XI come Colchester next week and – hopefully – I've done enough. But we'll have to wait and see.”
Martin is not short of competition. Jamie Cureton would fancy a crack at his old employers; the last time the pair met at Carrow Road he bagged himself a hat-trick.
Cody McDonald would be another with one eye on being Holt's sidekick for the season and then, of course, there is Maric himself.
“I think it's healthy,” said the man in possession. “I think that's the most important thing – that we have competition all over the pitch and you're always being pushed just to get into the starting XI.
“And you know that you have to perform. Because if you don't then people will be replacing you – and that's an important part of a good squad.”
Certainly if you look at Gunn's rebuilt midfield, neither Stephen Hughes nor Owain Tudur Jones can afford to let their standards slip. The pair started yesterday's final dress rehearsal only to be replaced by the blossoming Tom Adeyemi and one-time Fakenham High School pupil Mathew Gill. Neither of whom looked out of place as Norwich not only conjured up a wonderful winner, but also closed the game out against their Premiership peers with distinct ease.
Gunn will also have a big decision to make at right-back where the sponsors found their man-of-the-match in the shape of Otsemobor.
Many might have gone for Wes Hoolahan whose magnificent crossfield pass into Whaley's on-running feet was right out of English football's top drawer.
As for Martin, his year on loan at Kenilworth Road – not to mention the 'Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum' headlines that followed the 'Luton Two' around under Glenn Roeder's regime – was fast fading into the memory as the Carrow Road faithful started to take one of their own back to their hearts.
“It's been good to come back,” said the Beccles teenager, who burst so spectacularly onto the first team scene in the wake of Robert Earnshaw's injury under Peter Grant.
Handed the big contract almost before the season was out, there was an argument of 'too much, too soon…' to be heard as he then managed to run foul of the Waveney Valley Licensed Victuallers Association.
Now, however, the slate appears to be wiped clean; being sent to Luton and a real School of Hard Knocks under Mick Harford may, ironically, prove the best thing that ever happened to the pair career-wise.
“I've really enjoyed pre-season, I've been working hard – no, I'm really enjoying it,” he said.