If City boss Paul Lambert was a man perturbed by Saturday’s 2-0 home reverse by Hull City he kept it very well hidden.
Indeed, as he look forward to tonight’s Carrow Road clash with Leicester City – all armed with a fully-fit squad – his instructions are likely to be all-too simple. ‘Same again, boys…’
It was, the feeling was, just one of those.
There was little or nothing wrong with the manner in which his Championship new boys had attacked the task in hand of late – nothing that the Law of Averages wouldn’t correct as the Canaries prepared to entertain the wounded Foxes, still smarting after that 6-1 humbling at crisis-torn Portsmouth on Friday night.
It is, he senses, a feeling that he shares with the Carrow Road faithful; their verdict arrived at the final whistle.
“I think the biggest was the crowd – the ovation they gave the lads was unbelievable,” said Lambert, with his City side still sat snugly in that early play-off pack.
“I’ve not seen that for a long while – a team getting beat and getting the ovation that they got.
“And that was great. And I think everyone knew that we’d done everything we could to win the game – you’ve just got to score goals. But I couldn’t ask for anything more in the way that they played. They were excellent.”
Ideally, City will hit the same high notes again this evening as they look to add to Leicester’s miseries on the road of late.
“We are playing really well at the moment – that’s for sure,” said the City chief, well aware of Friday’s unlikely scoreline – and the reaction that can duly follow.
“I’m pretty sure that Leicester will feel that – that they have to look to bounce back. They’ve been hurt a few times [this season] but its up to us to keep driving the nail into them,” said Lambert, revealing a merciless streak that tallies with a midfield ‘boss’ with a Champions League winners medal to his name.
“And as I say, I’m not worried – we’re playing really well. And the crowd are right on our side as well.”
The fact that the better part of the Championship separates the two teams ahead of this evening’s fixture was not something that Lambert was interested in.
“I never buy into that – that this team is going to go down; this one is going to go up. We’ve only played a handful of games,” said the Canary chief, as ever feet planted firmly on the floor.
The fact that the two managers played alongside eachother for Borussia Dortmund in that Champions League triumph merely adds to the evening’s mix.
“I was probably the crappest one in that team,” Lambert laughed, reminded of his connection with new Foxes’ chief Paulo Sousa.
“I was just lucky that I had world class players around me and he [Sousa] arrived in the same season that I did and he’s a really good friend. Brilliant player.”
That, you suspect, is an accolade that Lambert doesn’t deliver lightly.
It also gives him every reason to suspect that Leicester will arrive in the image of their new manager and will look to pass, pass and pass. And then pass some more.
“I think that’s what his teams are renowned for – for passing the ball. But you’ve got to win games as well,” added Lambert, ever the pragmatist.
“And I don’t think he’ll change. But then I don’t think there’s a right way or a wrong way to play football. You have to try and win – whether you go directly or you pass. You’ve just got to try and win as many games as you can.”
It is a simple philosophy that has clearly served Norwich very well over the last 13 months as the good ship Canary continues to sail forward with real purpose and belief.
“It’s not as if we’re going into the game not winning games – or not playing well. We’re sitting in the top six which is great,” said Lambert.
He can also take heart from the fact that he has no fresh injury concerns to report after the Tigers ‘blip’.
All of which should point to an unchanged side for this evening’s game with Wes Hoolahan once again handed the invite to sparkle at the top of the diamond.
“Maybe I’m a bit wrong in saying this, but I think Wes’ role is a little different since the last time he was in the Championship,” said Lambert, not being that wrong at all.
Cast out wide left, the Canary playmaker could all-too often end up being neither one thing nor the other.
Set slap bang on centre stage, he has the freedom to dictate events; behind him he has three willing workers able to mop up his defensive duties. It clearly works. And when Hoolahan is on his game, he is a devil to pick up.
“He’s definitely been brilliant,” said Lambert. “I thought in the second-half on Saturday, he was unplayable at times. What he gives you going forward is unique, at times.
“But all the lads have been brilliant in the way that they’ve handled it [the step up to the Championship]. I don’t have any fear whatsoever.”
Which, as a manager, must be a brilliant feeling to have.