After Norwich City registered another huge win against Preston North End, Samuel Seaman delivers six things you may have missed from Deepdale.

1 - Four points ain’t bad

The despair after last Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with relegation battling Sheffield Wednesday was understandable in isolation, but Saturday’s win has made the minor meltdown that went with it feel just a bit silly.

The vast majority of Norwich fans would have snapped the proverbial hand off for four points on the road at the start of the week, and in the context of a crucial play-off race battle following a midweek trip to Sheffield, four points doesn’t look bad at all.

Daniel Farke was the one heralding the potential value of a point when his Leeds United side faltered at home against Sunderland on Tuesday, but in fact it was his former side that proved him right on this occasion.

2 - Marcelino the destroyer

David Wagner's system is well known by now for having no defensive midfielder, eschewing the traditional player in the Alex Tettey mould and demanding more of a heavily-worked central duo.

With City leaking goals left, right and centre at the start of the campaign they were criticised for their soft centre, but in Marcelino Nunez they have perhaps the perfect player for Wagner's hefty midfield demands.

The Chilean not only upped the tempo of his side's play and got things moving in possession, he also acted as a highly effective screen for their back four, making eight tackles throughout the afternoon.

He made eight tackles, two-thirds of the number the entire team made at Deepdale and more than any single player has in a game this season.

3 - Leaving it last-ditch

It may have escaped attention amid a cacophony of loopy crosses and set-piece assaults, but City required two goal-line clearances to keep their clean sheet intact in PR1.

First Kenny McLean was forced to head off the line when one of those set-pieces - a trademark dangerous delivery from Robbie Brady - was flicked towards the far post, before Sam McCallum denied Will Keane an equaliser late on.

Duane Holmes gave McCallum a torrid afternoon out wide and he has struggled defensively at times in recent weeks, but when he was most needed he was there to secure a vital three points with a clearance that’s already underrated.

Eastern Daily Press: Sam McCallum rescued Norwich with a goal-line clearance late onSam McCallum rescued Norwich with a goal-line clearance late on (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

4 - Yoof?

Two thirds of the away bench was made up of current or previous City under-21s, if you include Kellen Fisher, and one third of the substitutions Wagner made were products of the Colney youth setup.

Those numbers as well as the impact of Jonathan Rowe’s returning cameo will certainly have pleased sporting director Ben Knapper as he looks to increase productivity when it comes to young talent, although the German’s use of those players remains questionable on that front.

Fisher, Finley Welch, Ken Aboh and Guilherme Montoia were all unused substitutes once more in Lancashire, with Wagner clearly yet to fully trust in any of his inexperienced charges.

Eastern Daily Press: Ken Aboh is one of several youngsters who have become used to sitting on the City benchKen Aboh is one of several youngsters who have become used to sitting on the City bench (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

The juxtaposition between team sheets and minutes played remains a fascinating and likely important part of the club’s trajectory, with its two footballing decision makers divided in their principles even when the short-term looks good.

5 - Struggling strikers

Josh Sargent and Ashley Barnes have almost invariably been key cogs in the Canaries’ impressive victories, of which there have been many, as they’ve gone from lower mid-table fodder to clear play-off qualification favourites.

Where the pattern of delivering under pressure continued, however, the success of City’s prolific partnership did not. Barnes’ fast start quickly deteriorated into a frustrating afternoon of loose touches and misplaced passes, while the American was foiled in his attempts to link play up and progress the ball.

Eastern Daily Press: Ashley Barnes and strike partner Josh Sargent struggled in LancashireAshley Barnes and strike partner Josh Sargent struggled in Lancashire (Image: PA)

The duo lost the ball a total six times throughout the game, and overall gave the impression they’d benefit from the full week they now have to prepare for Bristol City’s Carrow Road visit on Saturday.

No fan will hold an off-colour performance against Sargent especially after his injury issues, in fact they’ll be pleased he’s now got seven days to rest that precious ankle of his.

6 - Yellows

There are few things more triggering for the superstitious football fan than a change of kit. The revelation from official club accounts that City would wear their third strip for the trip to Deepdale sparked widespread despair from the anxious and routine-led of the yellow and green faithful, and it’s easy to see why.

Before the crunch clash with Ryan Lowe’s men, Norwich had failed to register a single competitive win in anything but their home kit, with the only prior outings of this purple number a shock defeat to Rotherham and a gutting loss to Watford.

Sara’s dazzling decider put an end to that hoo-doo, no doubt prompting celebrations among a marketing team previously unable to associate any good memories with one of their central products.

The win was actually the club's first in anything but their home strip since December 2022's edging of Swansea in South Wales, but they'll now have no issues with turning to Purple if it's required after the regular season ends.

Eastern Daily Press: Gabriel Sara put an end to the Canaries' winless record in purpleGabriel Sara put an end to the Canaries' winless record in purple (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)