Undefeated in three games, second in the table having conceded just the once… What’s not to love?
The answer for some – inevitably – will be quite a lot as the Canaries still ‘make do’ without a genuine No 9 and all eyes remain on the Board and the club’s new chief executive to deliver.
Before the end of the month, ideally.
And as for the manager…
Here comes decision time.
The average ‘shelf life’ of a Norwich City manager is an interesting statistic for someone other than me to add to the debate.
The whole Rioch-Hamilton-Grant era will pull the number down, just as Paul Lambert will pull it up.
But at some stage people ought to take a slightly longer term view and let a manager build.
Properly build. From back to front – and all with a sprinkling of Canary youff in between.
And, to my mind, that’s what Alex Neil is starting to do.
He has the bulk of the finished article in place – bar the obvious.
In the same way that Mike Walker had his Chris Sutton and Lambert his Grant Holt, so Neil ought to be afforded the time and the luxury to put The One into battle.
And then be judged.
Tonight it was left to the older heads to deliver – Wes Hoolahan’s deft flick giving skipper Jonny Howson all the time and space he needed to side foot a finish beyond Bristol City keeper Richard O’Donnell seven minutes before the interval.
The woodwork might have ridden to Norwich’s rescue when Jonathan Kodjia came close for the visiting Robins – but it was the same, small margin that denied Alex Tettey as the Canaries sought to double their advantage and avoid the usual, late nerves.
Ditto Wesley as he looked to add a little more icing to the night’s cake only for O’Donnell to push his effort against the woodwork.
And here we go again re Neil building a squad ever more in his own image; addressing one, potential weakness after another. As and when transfer windows allow.
John Ruddy disappears with a troubled groin.
Cue new-boy Michael McGovern, fresh from his Euro2016 heroics with Northern Ireland.
Clean sheet in those 45 minutes against the Owls on Saturday; come midweek and he was saving well from an Aden Flint header as the Canaries held on to that 1-0 success.
Was it perfect? No.
As the manager was the first to admit afterwards.
“We hit the woodwork a few times and if our passing in the final third had been a bit slicker we could have created a few more chances,” Neil told the club’s official website.
It was, he said, an improvement on Saturday’s flat showing against Sheffield Wednesday. It will graft as much as craft they will need come derby day next Sunday.
Don’t expect that to be pretty.
“We performed better than we did on Saturday – which I knew we would – and that was pleasing,” he added.
Both Cameron Jerome and another new boy Sergi Canos could/should have put the game to bed in the final exchanges.
So they didn’t quite put the game well beyond Bristol’s reach; kill the contest with a second or third goal.
As ‘The One’ would have done. Be it a Sutton or a Holt.
But as world weary students of Championship football know, successful promotion campaigns are littered with 1-0 wins on midweek nights like these.
Ask any Newcastle United fan how they are finding life in the second tier; they would bite your hand off for a start like Norwich’s.
Indeed, the more you ponder what Neil has at his disposal already, the more excited one should get if he and the Board bag their man over the course of the next fortnight.
Because at that point, I don’t see a weakness.
I see proven character down the spine of the side; youthful promise in the Murphy twins and Liverpool’s young Spaniard; an old hand in Hoolahan with plenty of tricks left up his sleeve and Jerome with the ability to do the unexpected every once in a while.
The keeper situation looks resolved; Ruddy has a fight on his hands to reclaim the No 1 slot; whilst at full-back, Neil remains spoilt for choice.
He just has that one, gaping hole to fill.
Do that and all will be well in Canary Land – won’t it?