City boss Paul Lambert will discover just how strong his squad is this evening as the Canaries make the ever-awkward trip to the New Den, Millwall, still counting the cost of Saturday’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Burnley.
Out goes Andrew Crofts – suspended for one game after picking up two yellows in the space of those last, frantic ten minutes.
Out goes Adam Drury’s young under-study Steven Smith with a hip injury leaving Lambert with a clutch of decisions to make.
Does he start the game tonight as he all-but ended it with Russell Martin playing off the wrong side at left-back and with Korey Smith dropped in at right-back?
Or does he give Simon Lappin the nod at that injury-hit left-back slot and let Smith (Korey) partner David Fox in the absence of Crofts in the heart of the Canary engine room.
And what to do with Anthony McNamee? Once again the Canary winger brought the game to life with his second-half appearance; his natural width and pace asking all-too many questions of the Clarets’ defence. Is he worth a starting place – at, presumeably, the expense therefore of the diamond formation that has served the Norfolk side so well.
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
“We’ve got those two out on top of those boys already out,” Lambert told the club’s official site this morning, as all concerned prepared to go again down in South-East London.
“We will have to reshuffle but that’s the nature of the game and you have to go with what you’ve got,” he added.
“I think there is six or seven of them out at the minute, but that happens – and we’re not too far away from getting a few of them back and once that happens, hopefully, the squad will be a lot stronger.”
Which will be just as well given the likes of both Leeds United and the first derby clash with Ipswich Town are looming large on the horizon.
The big decisions don’t stop with the two full-back slots and the shape of his midfield, either.
The City chief will also have to decide whether Saturday’s goal-scoring hero Chris Martin has done enough to warrant a recall to his starting plans.
After the game Lambert was full of praise for the Beccles-born striker; noting, in particular, how he had refused to let his head drop after watching Canadian international Simeon Jackson steal ahead of him in the pecking order.
In fairness to Martin himself, he was a model of diplomacy when quizzed about his current starting role – on the bench.
He could wait, he told BBC Radio Norfolk – fresh from grabbing that crucial opening City goal with the sweetest of turns and strikes.
“Holty [Grant Holt] and Simeon [Jackson] have been doing very well, creating plenty of chances. If I have to bide my time a bit more I don’t mind that,” he said.
It wasn’t ideal. But he has time on his side; he is – as Lambert was swift to remind everyone – still only 21 years of age.
“Any professional footballer will tell you they want to play games, so it’s frustrating having to watch on from the sidelines,” Martin added.
“We’re not built like that, it’s not in our make-up, I’ve realised I have to bide my time, it always happens in football to just about anyone.
“I’m hoping I make enough of an impression to make him [Lambert] think a bit.”
Which he undoubtedly is; Martin’s attitude to his recent lack of starting football has done him many a favour.
And given the relentless pace of the Championship, it is an easy option to ‘rest’ a Jackson and give a fresh pair of legs a run out.
Lambert certainly wasn’t expecting an easy evening out.
“I’m under no illusions how hard this will be,” he stressed. “It will be a very, very tough game.”
Norwich aren’t alone in having to re-shuffle their squad to make the numbers fit.
Lions boss Kenny Jackett has been forced to recall striker Lewis Grabban from his loan spell at Brentford in a bid to bolster his own, injury-hit strike resources.
Steve Morison – like the luckless Crofts – is suspended, while Theo Robinson now faces knee surgery. Veteran frontman Neil Harris is also struggling – this time with a foot injury.