New Canary keeper David Marshall appeared quietly satisfied by Saturday's events – another clean-sheet, another sure-footed, sure-handed effort at the heart of that City rearguard.
“It's a tough place to go,” said the 22-year-old after this weekend's 0-0 draw at Deepdale.
“Last season we lost here, so we looked to do better than last year. And a point's better than nothing. Maybe disappointed in terms of going forward, but I think we would have lost that game last season at the back so, hopefully, we can kick-on from here now and pick up three points next week.”
Norwich will now look to kick-on again at home to Barnet tomorrow night in the first round of the Carling Cup. Ideally, that will be an opportunity for one or two to top up their game-time after last week's viral fun and games; more importantly, it would be nice for one or two to rediscover their shooting boots ahead on next Saturday's visit by a shell-shocked Saints side whose miserable, Paul Allen-less summer continued with that 4-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace.
Marshall's one moment of real alarm came in the 81st minute as ex-Luton skipper Kevin Nicholls took aim from the edge of the penalty area and slapped a curling, 22-yard effort against the junction of bar and post.
“I didn't really see it, to be honest with you,” said Marshall. “He had to curl it round one of our players, so I didn't see much of it.
“Maybe that last five, ten minutes we got a little bit lucky but I think we deserved that in terms of the way that we dug in – especially the first half an hour of the game. As I say, it's a decent point and, hopefully, we can play better going forward. But good to come here – and I don't think a lot of teams will come away with three points when they come here.”
Preston's biggest threat invariably came from a set-piece play – a corner nine times out of ten. Again, credit Marshall. He barely batted an eye-lid as he – and his defence – did a job time and again.
“I think their whole game-plan was based around that,” said City's new No1.
“Maybe because of the fact that I'm a new goalkeeper and they thought: 'Let's drop a few crosses on top of him…' But I think everybody dealt well with it.”
The impression – from a distance – was that Norwich's zonal marking system had bitten the dust; maybe that's something that ex-coach Martin Hunter took to Watford with him.
Simply having both Chris Brown and Dion Dublin in there defending also helped. What didn't was the whole barbecue thing.
“Wednesday, Thursday, Friday we couldn't really do any team shape while we were waiting on players to see if they were fit – and even if they were playing, they weren't fully fit.
“So, as I say, a good point. And, hopefully, we can now get a full week's training under our belt; we've got the game on Tuesday and, then hopefully, we can get the three points against Southampton.”
That's the key – each and every hard-won away point is only ever as good as the three big, home points that follow. That's the secret; that's how its done.
“If you can win most of your home games – and I think we've got the players in here that could even have nicked a win today – because I did think we looked dangerous going forward – but we did need the big boys in there to deal with the set-pieces so maybe Curo (Jamie Cureton) will get his chance in the next games and hopefully, he can nick us a few wins.”
For now, his back four unit gets the thumbs up from the big man standing behind.
“Obviously there's room for improvement all the time – we can speak a lot more. But I think we would have taken a clean sheet before this game because going into every game we're confident that we can score a goal.
“But if we can keep these clean sheets then we're not going to be beaten.”