There was a wonderful moment in Alex Neil’s post-match interview at Ewood Park on Tuesday night.
And if my Twitterfeed is any guide, I wasn’t the only one to notice it. And it’s worth watching again.
For when the word ‘derby’ crossed the lips of BBC Radio Norfolk’s Chris Goreham, his eyes lit up; his face broke into a hungry grin. It is just the sort of reaction that would warm the cockles of Norfolk’s hearts ahead of Sunday’s grand event.
What the reaction south of the border might be is anyone’s guess.
Ask me to guess, however, and I would wager there is a little bit of unease down south. They are sailing into unknown waters with Mr Neil and the more anyone sees, the more anyone hears, the more you wonder whether Norwich have a true derby warrior in their midst.
Sunday’s bear pit might be what A Neil was invented for. He has an opportunity to carve himself a little place in legend less than two months after his unscheduled and unheralded arrival at Carrow Road.
To pick up a seventh win out of his first nine games at the helm – and all at the expense of the neighbours one point above Norwich in the Sky Bet Championship – is the sort of opportunity the footballing fates offer up only very rarely.
Invariably, only to one of their more favoured sons. Or, indeed, in this PC age, their favoured daughters.
What is very interesting about Neil – if his Press persona matches that in the dressing and boot rooms – is how simple he makes football sound.
He deals in blacks and whites; with little or no room for misunderstandings or misgivings.
He held his hand up for Steven Whittaker’s midfield misfortunes; an experience unlikely to be repeated, but one not left at the door of the City full-back.
That simple action will have impressed the dressing room. There is little worse than a manager that ducks the blame in either public or private.
Neil stood up and took that one on the chin.
Which suggests the youngest manager in English football knows a thing or two about footballers; and people management.
Football is an inherently simple game. Give people a simple set of instructions in a formation that they are comfortable with and, invariably, talent will out.
Provided, of course, that ability is matched by attitude. People have got to want to do this for you.
And that was the bit of the Blackburn success that stood out. Norwich are hungry again. Going 1-0 down is not ‘Goodnight!’ any more. They roll with that punch in the same way that the promotion classes of Nigel Worthington and Paul Lambert did.
It doesn’t knock them out of their stride; if anything they pick up the pace again and get the job done.
And in the likes of Cameron Jerome and Bradley Johnson they have players who can deliver the unexpected. A bolt from the blue. And that makes a big difference at this level of football.
As Mr McCarthy will have noted. He won’t be going gung-ho into this fixture. There will be a wariness to his approach.
And we are also starting to see a squad that can almost manage itself. Because they have been handed a simple set of instructions. All they have to do is follow them to the letter – with a passion to match that of the manager.
If it’s not going quite to plan, then they are starting to trust him to make the right decisions tactically; to make the big calls substitution-wise and get them right more often than not.
Neil gets the result everyone north of the border is looking for this Sunday and at the final whistle, does a bit of fist clenching, air punching celebration and Carrow Road will rise to greet their new leader.
A bond will be forged. One that, on current form, can sweep the Norfolk club back into the promised land of the English Premier League.
Hold onto your seats. It’s about to get a little lively…