If hope, as some pessimists maintain, is ultimately more painful than despair, perhaps Wolves did their long-suffering supporters a favour at Carrow Road.
Having gone ahead midway through the first half through Matt Jarvis, their prospects of taking three precious points back to the Black Country lasted only 80 seconds before the defensive frailties that have plagued their season re-asserted themselves in what proved to be terminal fashion. Two goals from Grant Holt turned the match around and, even after Holt was sent off with five minutes remaining, Wolves never really looked like a team who believed the game would be rescued.
"If we'd held that lead for longer it would have given the match a different tone altogether," said Terry Connor, Wolves' beleaguered interim manager, before going on to praise the determination and effort shown by his side.
"We were well worth something from the game. If we play like that, with a bit more quality in the final third, we'll be all right against Bolton next week," he insisted. Unfortunately for Connor, no one has ever suggested the players are not trying hard enough; the problem is that collectively they simply do not be appear to be good enough.
Connor, as he had to, had made changes to the side thrashed at home by Manchester United last week, the most notable of which was the inclusion of club captain Roger Johnson in central defence.
Given Johnson was originally dropped for a mixture of poor form and turning up for training in a state of inebriation, and that Mrs Johnson had tweeted her opinion that it was "ridiculous" that he was only on the bench against Manchester United, it was a serious case of "needs must".
The pre-match focus may have been on Wolves' plight, but Norwich themselves had not been pulling up too many trees recently. Like their opponents, City had taken only one point from the past 12 available, and Paul Lambert also shuffled his pack, with the strikers Holt and Simeon Jackson among the inclusions.
Early chances to Wolves' Kevin Doyle and City's Zak Whitbread notwithstanding, the game was a scrappy one, so much so that few would have predicted two goals being scored in less than two minutes shortly before the half-hour. First Michael Kightly's low cross was side-footed past Norwich's goalkeeper John Ruddy by Jarvis. Then Holt, played onside by Sébastien Bassong, ran on to Jackson's pass and lobbed the Wolves goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, then nodded the bouncing ball into the goal.
A minute before half-time the home side took the lead. Holt's shot was blocked, but the ball ran out to Simon Lappin who pulled it back for Wes Hoolahan. Again the shot was blocked, but this time by Eggert Jonsson's hand, and Holt converted the penalty.
Wolves did their best to press in the second half, but the better chances went to Norwich. Howson shot over from close range, and Holt threatened to score a third before managing to get himself sent off for a second yellow card. The centre-forward has 12 league goals in 18 starts and 11 substitute appearances this season, a record that makes talk of him being in England's Euro 2012 squad far from ridiculous.
Lambert, who, for all his continued insistence to the contrary, must now surely be planning for another season in the Premier League, said: "I thought we deserved it. Like Wigan last week, Wolves probably find it easier to play away from home at the moment, and it took a big effort on our part to turn it around so quickly after going behind. Grant's first goal was a great finish, he held his nerve with the penalty and I thought he won the ball when he got his second yellow card, so his sending-off was harsh."