A mixed bag of news would greet the Canary faithful tomorrow morning as City found a new potential star in Alexander Tettey – only to potentially lose another as the on-loan Harry Kane was stretchered off five minutes after the interval.
Norwich also found their way into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup and a home tie with Spurs courtesy of Tettey’s eye-catching, 26th minute strike – enough to see Norwich progress to recently uncharted cup waters on the back of a 1-0 win against a game Doncaster side.
It was a fitting cup success on an evening when Norfolk also mourned one of their greats; a man who took the club to a League Cup final and stamped a certain way of playing upon all that met on the banks of the Wensum.
Given the lack of goals – if not the lack of trying – amongst his strike department of late, a winner from Mr G Holt might have added both to the occasion and the result for boss Chris Hughton.
And though Norwich dominated huge swathes of the game, they still came close to a nasty cropper when David Cotterill somehow managed to miss from a yard out with just three minutes of normal time remaining.
Extra-time on a Wednesday night fixture was certainly not high on the list of management hopes for the game; goals a-plenty and injuries a-few would have been, however.
Neither transpired on another frustrating night for the Canary faithful. A Grant Holt diving header tipped wide in the 71st minute; a Simeon Jackson round the keeper moment only for the angle to beat him… It was one of them. Tettey did at least shine bright; Master Butterfield has something to him, too.
City boss Hughton had signalled his attacking intent from the off as he named four strikers in his starting line-up – as expected, handing Jacob Butterfield his Carrow Road debut alongside the on-loan Kane, Chris Martin and club skipper Holt.
The latter, in particular, could sorely do with firing his 2012-2013 campaign into goal-scoring life as the Canaries warmed up for the Premier League visit of struggling Liverpool to Norfolk on Saturday.
To add to the attacking flavour of the night, Hughton was also able to call upon the services of Elliott Bennett again after his recent injury niggles. He would face visiting brother Kyle before the night was out.
In goal, Mark Bunn made his City debut following his summer switch from Blackburn, whilst in the middle of the park the fit-again David Fox – now armed with that new, two-year deal – found himself with Tettey for company as the Norwegian international finally made his own Canary debut.
Kept under wraps thus far thanks to the compelling form of Messrs Howson and Johnson in the City midfield, Tettey gave Hughton much to think about just before the half-hour mark when he fired Norwich ahead. As, indeed, did his overall level of performance.
Whether the home side deserved their advantage was a moot point at that stage, after Doncaster proved no mugs and did their best to stretch a much-changed City line-up in the game’s opening exchanges.
Before which, of course, there had been a minute’s silence in memory of Canary Hall of Famer John Bond after news of the 79-year-old’s death broke today.
The second longest-serving manager in City’s history, Bond did so much much to instill the sense of ‘playing the Canary way…’ into the Norfolk club; an expectation that the beautiful game would be just that; that Saturday afternoon at Carrow Road would be one where entertaining football came before effective football.
Marry the two in the manner that Paul Lambert did and all would be very well in the world; set out your stall to win games by brute efficiency in the manner of a Tony Pulis or a Sam Allardyce and local patience would be sorely tested.
That was Bond’s legacy to the club – personified in the arrival of Martin Peters at the football club, the torch would then be held aloft by first Ken Brown and then Dave Stringer and onto Mike Walker – ensuring a whole generation of Canary support would get to see the ball sticking firmly to the floor.
Rich will be the minute’s applause that will precede the Liverpool game this Saturday.