You could say that it was quite a busy day for Glenn Roeder on Thursday.
No less than four new arrivals, two departures, and the extension of Ched Evans' loan deal would have ensured that the City boss wouldn't have had much opportunity to drag himself away from the telephone for a tea break.
In came Matthew Bates, James Henry, Alex Pearce and Kieran Gibbs, and out went Simon Lappin and Ryan Jarvis, and accordingly the size of the squad increased and the competition for places immediately intensified.
But considering the manner of the Canaries previous two performances against Leicester and Southampton, the players that had delivered everything that could have been asked of them in adding another four points to the board and extending this excellent unbeaten run to ten matches fully deserved to keep their places.
Roeder rightly named an unchanged team, so Henry and Bates had to settle for a place on the substitutes bench, whereas Pearce, Gibbs and a certain Darren Huckerby didn't even make the final 16.
The City boss would have no doubt sent the Canaries out at three o'clock on Saturday with the instructions to simply continue in the manner that secured all three points at St. Mary's in mid-week and which certainly deserved to against Leicester four days earlier.
Problem was they didn't. This was nothing like City at their best.
Call it a bad day at the office if you like, because this quickly developed into a game in which graft, energy, running and tackling was always going to outweigh swift free-flowing, quality football in order to decide the outcome.
And considering that in each of those departments both Norwich and Preston were fairly evenly matched, it was no surprise that the contest was as dull and scrappy as it was and when decent goal-scoring chances were seriously few and far between.
Once again City could not be faulted on the physical aspect of the game, as although they didn't defend as efficiently as they had done in recent games either individually or collectively, they can rightly be pleased with another clean sheet.
Gary Doherty and Jason Shackell were outstanding down at Southampton in midweek and barely put a foot wrong all night, but in the first half yesterday they stood off the Preston strikers too frequently and didn't possess the same defensive understanding that had proved so crucial at St Mary's.
In midfield, and as combative as Bertrand, Russell, Fotheringham and Croft undoubtedly were, their contribution from an attacking viewpoint was minimal.
Only Croft ever really threatened to pose the visitors any serious problems.
Too often passes went astray when players were not put under any pressure, and despite the best efforts of Dion Dublin and Ched Evans up front there was a dearth of action in and around the Preston goalmouth.
To be fair it was a similar story down at the opposite end of the pitch, where David Marshall was as equally redundant as Andy Lonergan, and the game basically had 0-0 written all over it.
Until, that is, Russell produced his wonder-strike – a rare moment of genuine quality in an insipid encounter -to snatch all three points.
The frenzied day of transfer dealings on Thursday already looks to have the desired effect though, as although we haven't yet fully had the chance to assess the calibre and potential that the four new signings might bring to the table, – although saying that, Bates did impress in his brief outing – if it keeps the players already in possession of the shirts on their toes, creates a situation whereby even “star” performers can't get a game and helps results to continue to be delivered like this even when City haven't hit anything like top from then we'll have to say that Roeder will have pulled off yet another masterstroke.