Little doubt as to who was sporting the biggest, ear-to-ear grin after last night’s seven-goal epic – long serving City defender Adam Drury.
He had, after all, just grabbed his first goal in five, long years; only his fourth in some 330 Canary appearances.
Needless to say, it was the source of much merriment in the Canary dressing room after last night’s 4-3 roller-coaster ride against the Foxes.
“There’s been quite a bit of ribbin’,” said the 32-year-old, whose confident dink over an advancing keeper and on into the far corner was only eclipsed by Wes Hoolahan’s peach of a dipper.
In fairness, though, it was Paul Lambert’s full-back philosophy in full flow as the long-serving City star over-lapped deep into the Leicester penalty area – his run picked up to perfection by Hoolahan whose through ball sat up so sweetly for Drury to tuck home.
“I think the lads were even more surprised than me when I scored,” he laughed, admitting that he was at something of a loss when it came to the celebration.
“I just ran around stupidly – it’s been a long time coming, that’s for sure! But the way we play, we’re encouraged to get forward and you’re going to get chances,” said the City full-back, who was twice denied by Foxes keeper Carl Ikeme either side of his big moment.
“I think I had three shots tonight and as long as you hit the target, you never know,” he said.
It is all a far cry from 18 months ago when the one-time Posh youngster was struggling with a lengthy knee injury. Many might argue he is currently playing as well as he has ever done in a City shirt with the way Norwich set themselves up as a side suiting his natural attacking ambitions to perfection.
“It’s certainly very enjoyable when you’re winning,” said Drury. “There’s a lot of confidence in this side at the minute and under this gaffer you obviously know what he wants – and what you’ve got to do to stay in the team.
“You’ve got to go for it week in, week out. And at the minute it’s going alright.”
For a player who has had his fair share of bumps and knocks over the years, experience tells him not to take anything for granted; one game at a time.
“Am I enjoying my football as much as I’ve ever done in my ten years here? Yes – maybe.
“Particularly the way that we play; the way that we’re encouraged to get up. But it’s tough – sometimes you get two men up against you, but that’s part of the challenge.”
That is one of the downsides to playing that narrow diamond – the pressure is on the full-back to deliver in both forward and reverse gears. Right now and both Drury and his oppositie number Russell Martin who are blossoming into the role Lambert requires.
It was, for example, Martin who found himself deep in enemy territory when he persuaded Tom Kennedy to give away that second-half penalty which turned the tide of battle Norwich’s way.
“As defenders we’ve got to defend first and foremost, but with the diamond that everyone knows that we play, we have to get involved in the wide play as well.
“You’ve got to move the ball about and, obviously, you’re going to get chances – sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.”
The biggest point to last night’s result – one that took the Canaries into third spot – was the fact that it wiped out memories of Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Hull City. Normal order had been restored.
“That was the biggest thing,” said Drury. “It was important that we bounced back – we don’t want back-to-back defeats. If we’d have drawn tonight, it would have felt like we’d lost.
“We put ourselves in a great position and probably should have put it to bed a lot earlier than we did but the important thing was that we won the game – however we played. Tonight was massive – it was all about the three points.”
Lambert made just one change to the Tigers team – resting Chris Martin to the bench and giving Simeon Jackson his chance to shine alongside Grant Holt.
In the event, however, it was Hoolahan who stole the show; he pulled every string in that midfield – as well as delivering a cool-as-you-like penalty strike and that glorious 30-yarder that had Carrow Road on its feet.
“He’s unplayable,” was Drury’s simple verdict.
“We see it in training day in, day out – and that’s what he’s like. You can put a man on him, but sometimes he’s so hard to stop.
“And with the goal, the penalty, the through ball.. he makes us tick.”
It was the weight of his delivery that marked it out – he had produced an even better, instinctive ball into the path of Holt just before the break only for the ball to just skip away from the City skipper.
For Drury it stood up beautifully; almost as if Hoolahan had reached for a pitching wedge.
“That’s what I said to him afterwards – the weight was perfect. I didn’t have to have a touch or anything. It was perfect. And that’s what you get with Wes. He creates chances for everybody.”
The Wesley through ball to Adam Drury was spookily reminiscent of the Ian Crook / Mark Bowen double act all those years ago. Taffy often used to go gallivanting behind the opposition full back and Chippy always picked him out with sublime passes. Quite nostalgic, it was.