New City boss Paul Lambert was, with some reason, a happy man tonight after watching the Canaries rack up a 5-2 win over the visiting Wycombe Wanderers in his first full game in charge of the Norfolk club.
Two goals from new City hero Grant Holt provided the cornerstone of this afternoon's desperately-needed success as Lambert continued to make a big impression in his new surroundings.
For if the week had seen sweeping changes to the backroom staff at Colney with the likes of Ian Butterworth, Mark Garfoot and John Deehan all departing, come Saturday and Lambert was cutting a similar swathe through the dressing room as he made six changes to the side that lost 2-1 at Brentford in mid-week.
As in big changes to supposed 'big' players; in came teenager Korey Smith for his first start in centre-midfield; in went Michael Spillane to centre-half; out went Gary Doherty, Michael Nelson, Owain Tudur Jones�
It was a big, bold call by the new boss as he reignited a spot of long-lost belief in and around Carrow Road. The fact that he handed 28-year-old Holt the skipper's armband merely confirmed the growing suspicion that the reported �400,000 that Bryan Gunn shelled out for his services this summer might prove to be a very shrewd piece of transfer business.
The lad has not only got goals to his game � today's brace made it five in five � but he also has the character to match. As Lambert was swift to confirm this evening.
“Holt is a proper player � that's for sure,” said the City chief, with his big No9 shrugging off wisdom teeth trouble to deliver another big 90 minutes for his new employers.
“He came in this morning with his face a little swollen � I think it's his wisdom teeth that are giving him some problems. But if keeps playing like that, then I hope he keeps having problems with his teeth, that's for sure.”
It wasn't, he said, a tough decision to give Holt the armband once the decision had been made to drop Gary Doherty to the bench.
“I just thought he [Holt] is a player's man and he will drive it through,” said the one-time Bhoys skipper. “And that's what we need to try and succeed.”
It wasn't a full-time gig. Not yet, anyway.
“Captains don't really mean much to me � it's the best team that I can get onto that pitch on that day. I just picked a team and, obviously, Gary's not playing so I've got to give it to somebody and I thought Grant Holt was the right one to do it.”
He also handed Jamie Cureton a recall alongside him; the pair's movement caught the eye � even if it was Simon Lappin's delivery that proved one of the big differences on the day.
“Holt was brilliant � as was Cureton. Because Jamie hasn't played since – I don't know � 1953, I think.”
Korey Smith has barely played a competitive game all summer after picking up a knock at the start of pre-season. Dropping the teenager into that particular hole was a big shout � one that worked a treat as last season's FA Youth Cup skipper capped a typically energetic outing with a peach of a 25-yard drive for his first-ever senior goal on his first-ever home league start.
“Two days with the lads you can't do much really,” admitted City's new chief, clearly delighted to have got his managerial reign off to such a flying start. And all with a team of 11 individuals he barely knew; most he had never seen play.
“We'd done a little bit of drill work with them on Thursday and a little bit of shape work to see what was there because we never knew any of the lads as such � apart from the Colchester game.”
Which might explain why a clutch of bigger names were only notable by their absence.
“I just felt that we had to make changes; to give it a bit of freshness since the hurt that the football club had had since the Colchester game � and you get a result that goes with it.”
There was plenty of method to what � at 2.30pm � might have looked like selection madness.
Not least in the fact that City had a definite shape across the middle of the park; there wasn't Wes Hoolahan doing his thing somewhere other than 20-yards in front of Adam Drury.
“I think if you do things off the cuff you'll get hurt; I think teams are good enough to exploit it,” said Lambert, fresh from having done exactly that with his Us side. He and his No2 Ian Culverhouse simply targeted the hole that Hoolahan leaves.
Fill that with a classic 'Steady Eddy' � and one with the sweetest of left foots, to boot � and Norwich start to look a different proposition entirely.
“It's a club that we've inherited that's been hurt,” said Lambert.
“But, hopefully, today we've given something back [to the supporters]. But it's only a small part; there's miles to go. There's a long, long road ahead.”