There’s nothing quite like a totally unexpected win to lift the spirits and last week’s result at Cardiff was a welcome boost after a couple of months that we’d all like to forget.

It wasn’t a great performance by any means, but it got the job done, which is what really matters.

Once again, David Wagner’s selection was questionable, with his two most experienced full-backs benched in favour of a teenager and a converted left winger, even though City were up against a side with one of the best home records in the Championship.

Given that he was also fielding a brand-new centre back pairing that decision seemed to be either very brave or very reckless and City’s first-half performance suggested the latter, with Przemysław Placheta in particular consistently caught out of position and at fault for both of Cardiff’s goals, as well as being highly fortunate not to concede a penalty.

The picture looked depressingly familiar at half-time, with the City having gone from being ahead to trailing within four minutes, but the second-half performance was a pleasant surprise as the Canaries demonstrated a level of desire and commitment nowhere to be seen in recent games.

The arrivals of Dimi Giannoulis and Jack Stacey certainly tightened up the defence, although George Long had to make a crucial save when City were still behind to prevent a third goal for Cardiff that would probably have been decisive.

However, it was Giannoulis’ attacking instinct that triggered the move for City’s late winner, and another highly effective substitute in Adam Idah who scored it.

Idah can be incredibly frustrating due to his inconsistency, but at Cardiff he made a big impact and gave City’s attacking play an extra dimension just when it was needed. Hopefully, he can now build on that performance, as is also the case with Danny Batth, who made a nonsense of his previous non-selection by producing a commanding performance at the back.

While there is no doubt that Wagner’s substitutions made a positive impact there will be those who would also argue that his original selection created the need to come from behind in the first place.

It’s somewhat anomalous that despite the terrible run of defeats that ended at Cardiff, Wagner still commands considerable goodwill amongst City fans, with whom he developed a bond early in his tenure and many would love to see him produce an unlikely turnaround.

Just how realistic that prospect is remains to be seen, but with a new sporting director arriving this week, the win will almost certainly buy him more time, yet we are now at a stage of the season where only a dramatic and sustained improvement in form can get City into the play-off places.

Remarkably though, the incredibly competitive nature of the Championship means that, despite such their awful run, City are still only six points off sixth spot, which means that the season is by no means a write-off at this stage.

The return to fitness of key players should improve their prospects, but a decision to stick with Wagner rather than replacing him now is nevertheless a big gamble with little margin for error, because if it fails there will be plenty ready to accuse the club of indecision.

It certainly feels like a pivotal moment and Ben Knapper will be well aware that all eyes are on him at the moment, but it was never realistic to think that his first act would be to replace Wagner, particularly after the win at Cardiff.

I thought that Knapper came across well in his first interview and his vision of attractive attacking football and a recognisable Norwich City style, something that has been lacking since Daniel Farke’s departure, will have resonated with many.

However, ultimately he will, quite rightly, be judged on his actions rather than his words.