Playing a side newly relegated from the Premier League is hard enough with 11 men, such is the financial divide between those with parachute payments in the Championship and those without.
Going down to ten after 15 minutes makes an already difficult task near to impossible. And that is just what Huddersfield Town did on Saturday at Norwich.
Carrow Road has been a graveyard for Town for as long as I can remember. This is the second time in half a dozen visits the side has come away after being on the wrong end of a 5-0 thumping.
In the circumstances - and given Town’s East Anglia hoodoo - defeat was to be expected. Even before the Wallace red card, a draw would have been a decent result.
Chris Powell will have learned about his players and himself. His half-time tactical reshuffle backfired, but that can’t be an excuse for the players who conceded three goals in double-quick time in the opening minutes of the second half through shambolic defending.
It’s also worth remembering that all managers get it wrong from time to time, no matter how good they are. Powell tried something and it didn’t come off in circumstances which were hardly conducive to getting anything out of the game in the first place.
Hindsight suggests he took the wrong option and should have brought Anthony Gerrard on instead of Paul Dixon to shore up the defence, but Powell had to make the decision without foreknowledge of the mess his defence would end up in.
In some ways, it’s better that Town succumbed in a game like Norwich away than battling on and losing narrowly.
Seeing weaknesses laid bare in the weeks before the transfer window makes it easier to identify areas to strengthen in January.
Until then, however, Town have tough games against Birmingham, Rotherham and Bolton to get through, two of those without Murray Wallace after his second red card of the season.
Powell will need to heed the lessons of Norwich and the team must bounce back to maintain the distance from the relegation zone.