Norwich City - the family club. It should almost be etched around Carrow Road, such is the frequency with which the phrase is employed. And like any family they are prone to the odd sticky patch when certain members do not get along. One such patch seemed to last for most of last season, leaving the Canaries shy of the play-off places in the Championship, having suffered relegation from the Premiership in 2005.
Yet Nigel Worthington believes his side have now come through the difficulties of life at this level, leaving his men better equipped to target promotion in one aspect above all - their mental approach. "Expectancy was very high here last year. That's part and parcel of the job. You can't avoid that," the Norwich manager said. "We brought players in when we went up to the Premier League, we had seven new players in last year and others then went. When we came down from the Premiership we had to readjust.
"There was a bit of turbulence regarding personnel at the club. Now this summer we've only had one player in, a couple have left, and having stability and continuity sometimes helps. Now we're showing some mental toughness. We were soft in the mind last year and we were feeling sorry for ourselves. But we got what we deserved because there's no sympathy in football. We're all - and I emphasise all - trying to put it right now and we could be in for a smashing season."
Such has been the improvement in his side's "mental toughness" that Worthington thought they would have lost this game a year ago. His men were two goals down after 52 minutes and, despite a couple of near misses near the end of the first half, they appeared set to lose for a second time in three games this season.
Rowan Vine gave the visitors the lead with a fine goal from 25 yards and the striker fed Dean Morgan for the Hatters' second. But then it all started to unravel for Mike Newell's side. A long ball skidded on to Kevin Foley, who lost out to Darren Huckerby and he pulled one goal back. Extended pressure then told as Lee Croft sneaked in unmarked to score at the near post. Victory was sealed when Huckerby hit the post and Dickson Etuhu had his shot saved, and from the rebound Robert Earnshaw tucked away his second winning goal in as many games.
Luton's resilience had been tested by losing Markus Heikkinen at half-time and Carlos Edwards, with Newell blaming those absences for the second-half slump. He praised his men for not giving up and Warren Feeney forced Paul Gallacher into a fine save in injury time, but Norwich's family values won the day.
Goals: Vine (15) 0-1; Morgan (52) 0-2; Huckerby (57) 1-2; Croft (2-2); Earnshaw (71) 3-2.
Norwich City (4-5-1): Gallacher; Colin (Fleming, 88), Doherty, Shackell, Drury; Croft (McVeigh, 73), Safri, Etuhu, Robinson,
Huckerby; Earnshaw (McKenzie, 90). Substitutes not used: Lewis (gk), Thorne.
Luton Town (4-4-2): Beresford; Foley, Heikkinen (Coyne, h-t), Barnett, Davis; Edwards (Morgan, 49), Langley, Robinson, Emanuel (Boyd, 62); Vine, Feeney. Substitutes not used: Brill (gk), Perrett.
Referee: A Penn (West Midlands).
Booked: Norwich City Shackell, Croft; Luton town Barnett.
Man of the match: Etuhu.
Attendance: 23,863.Reuse content