You always get a pretty good idea of what level you're at against Preston. It's one of those ?benchmark? type of games.
Because Preston never actually tear the division apart so to speak, but they always seem to linger around those top six places and are a tough enough team to beat on their own patch.
The Canaries haven't exactly enjoyed success in abundance at Deepdale in recent seasons. And they haven't really delivered performances that have merited anything different if the truth be known.
And although this was only the first game of the season after all, judging by how events unfolded on Saturday, it's certainly not going to be easy to suggest that the 2007-08 campaign has the potential of being something special just yet.
Tactically, Peter Grant's 4-3-1-2 formation functioned to the desired effect it has to be said.
City were very workman-like as a team when they were defending. And despite having to deal with a barrage of corner kicks and hopeful punts into their penalty area, they never really looked likely to concede a goal.
The problem being though that while they can be very pleased with a clean sheet and an undoubted increase in terms of their general presence and gritty resilience on many of their showings from last season, they also looked even less likely than their hosts to actually scoring one.
And that has to be a big concern – even taking into account that it was the first game of the campaign after all, there was no Darren Huckerby in the starting line-up, as well as the repercussions that a few dodgy burgers or human viruses caused this week.
Right from the off the home side built up a head of steam and pushed City back into their own half, but without the likes of David Nugent and Patrick Ageymang spearheading their attack, Preston had clearly lost all their bite, and despite enjoying the lion's share of possession, their attacking play inevitably came to nothing as a result of a lack of ideas or invention in the final third of the pitch.
Norwich did enjoy one or two moments of their own, but Preston 'keeper Wayne Henderson was hardly troubled all afternoon, and was only really called into action to prevent an own goal after a mix up in front of him by two of his defenders, and this was, when all is said and done, one of the weakest Preston teams that the Canaries will have faced for many a year.
On the positive side for the Canaries, Chris Brown offered City a few moments of respite with some impressive running and hold up play, Darel Russell, Julien Brellier and Simon Lappin kept things tight in the middle of the park, and the defence and David Marshall in goal were solid enough and deserved their clean sheet
But we do need to see much, much more from the Canaries when they have the ball than we did at Preston without a doubt.
Combine this more steely and dogged approach with a genuine goal threat and the Canaries could be in business this season, but at the moment, that does look some way away.