City boss Paul Lambert revealed this weekend that he still has his sights firmly set on bolstering his injury-hit midfield with a new loan signing.
Yesterday’s enthralling 1-1 draw with Leeds United ensured that the Canaries have now drawn their last four games.
And whilst the level of performance continues to offer every encouragement, the Norfolk side remain stuck pretty fast in eighth spot – just outside the play-off pack.
And with eight of his first team squad still struggling with injury and that frantic Christmas spell looming ever larger around the corner, so the time for reinforcements could well be nigh.
Lambert admitted that neither Andrew Surman – out for the last ten weeks with a knee injury sustained in training – and Michael Nelson were wholly 100 per cent fit. But “needs must”.
Hence his desire to dig something out of that loan market ahead of the festive rush. Surman and Nelson apart, no-one else was rushing back. It started with Drury… and continued.
“Adam’s not ready, Stevie Smith is not ready, Whitbread is not ready, Hughes is not ready – so you’ve got a lot there,” he said, with Korey Smith being another notable absentee.
He would, he hoped, be chasing a midfield addition to his pack this week. “We’ll just have to see…” was the gist of his feelings as to whether or not it might yield any fruit ahead of next Sunday’s televised clash with the neighbours – Lambert’s first derby clash as a Canary manager.
He has, of course, already made one smart piece of loan business in the shape of Baggies’ defender Leon Barnett, whose first goal in a Canary shirt gave the hosts a deserved share of the spoils.
It was a magnificent leap and powerful header to convert David Fox’s deep, second-half corner – even if Leeds were insisting that Chrissy Martin had impaired the keeper in the midst of it all.
“I thought Leon was excellent,” said Lambert, with the match sponsors agreeing as the athletic Canary centre-half walked away with the Man of the Match bubbly.
“He’s been huge for us and his goal was terrific. And well deserved.”
Once again, there was an element of a game of two halves – though never as marked as the Burnley clash which ended at 2-2.
It was more a case of two, decent Championship sides – both well-versed in each other’s ways – going for it big-time, to coin a familiar football phrase.
All driven on by the biggest home crowd at Carrow Road in 18 years.
Leeds got their break before the interval; the Canaries rightly got their’s afterwards as substitute Wes Hoolahan darted his way deep into that Leeds box to force the fateful corner.
“I thought in the second-half we were brilliant – the goalkeeper has made some great saves and I can’t ask anything more from my group of players. They’ve been brilliant,” said Lambert.
But that is just the four points from those last four games – a cause for concern?
“It might be if we weren’t playing well,” he said. “But I know how well we are playing. That’s the difference. You’d be more worried if you weren’t getting chances; weren’t getting anything.
“But the way we were playing it was chance after chance.”
Another difference was, he said, the crowd. It is their passion; their volume; their belief that can pick up the tempo of a game – particularly in the second-half of games when Norwich appear to stir themselves into life.
By then – all-too often – they might be a goal adrift and playing catch-up.
“The crowd down there at the Barclay End are brilliant, but the onus is on us to make the running as the home team,” admitted Lambert.
“But I thought at 0-0, we’d started really well and with Leeds’ first attack they score. It puts you on the back foot a little bit and then you’ve got to try and see it through.”
Alex Bruce came closest to providing the winning goal – of the own goal variety as his desperate defensive header in front of a lurking Grant Holt fell back off the base of an upright deep into the second-half.
With Andy O’Brien alongside the Norwich-born son of Canary legend Steve proving an equally immovable object as the visitors withstood the best that Norwich could throw at them, a draw was probably a fair result on balance.
The Canaries will now be fervently hoping that the visit of crisis-hit Town next week proves the point when they return to winning ways and power back into that play-off reckoning.