Paddy Davitt delivers his QPR verdict after Norwich City’s 2-2 Championship draw.

1. Runaway train

Given the travel disruption on the railways for many Norwich fans heading to the capital, perhaps it was entirely in keeping this game felt like it careered out of control for large spells.

Neither City nor QPR could exert any sustained dominance of territory or possession in a match that lurched, rather than ebbed, from end to end at Loftus Road.

But when Josh Sargent soared above the QPR defence to crash home Jack Stacey’s cross, after Kenny McLean had cancelled out Jack Colback’s opener, this Championship affair was in Norwich’s grasp.

The manner they let it slip again, and the two points that went begging for that top six bid, will sting.

Dimi Giannoulis ran the ball out of play for a home throw, but Norwich failed to react quickly enough to the restart, and Michael Frey was too sharp to get in front of Grant Hanley to divert the cross beyond Angus Gunn. It was a sloppy concession.

The sight of Rowe walking down the tunnel a minute from the end of stoppage time, with a suspected hamstring injury, after he dropped to the turf in some discomfort will only add to the sense of frustration.

David Wagner, perhaps surprisingly once QPR had got level, opted not to introduce deadline night signing Sydney van Hooijdonk to hunt a picture-book ending.

Although Wagner's post-match reasoning centred on Sargent's removal, after only training on Friday in the build up week, and the need to also withdraw Jack Stacey, who was ill at the team hotel later on the same night.

Another point, one league defeat in the last eight Championship tussles, but such logic and pragmatism will have to wait.

2. If at first you don’t succeed…

Gabby Sara had hit a QPR player at the near post on three consecutive corners prior to the interval. But a fourth attempt brought him a reward, when he arrowed a low ball towards the six yard box and McLean had peeled away to sidefoot home; in a favoured Norwich set piece routine Wagner afterwards attributed to Andy Hughes.

The Brazilian was also the trigger for Sargent’s superb second, when he was able to pick the ball up and turn in the centre circle before his eye for a pass threaded a ball between two QPR midfielders for Rowe to release Stacey.

Sara was withdrawn into that deeper role alongside McLean to accommodate Ashley Barnes’ restoration to the starting line up. But it was a sluggish first half offering from Wagner’s side, with Barnes for the most part seemingly deployed nearer Sargent in a coupling that afforded QPR numerical supremacy in the middle of the park.

Asking Sara to put out fires, alongside McLean, and try and spark City creatively from deeper tracts continues to feel like a policy which fails to extract the maximum from his ability in and around the opposition penalty area.

Wagner, to his credit, has deployed Sara in a more advanced role since the FA Cup replay win at Bristol Rovers. Now van Hooijdonk is also part of the equation there must be a concern whether the former Sao Paulo man will get many more chances for a forward deployment.

3.  Public messaging

So Ben Knapper has now spoken. A relief for those who wanted to hear publicly from the sporting director, after he inherited a team in retreat and a head coach batting away questions on his own Carrow Road job prospects when he first entered the building.

Then add a January transfer window to navigate, which from the outset was tilted firmly towards pruning the squad and ended with a late striker shuffle, when Wagner granted Adam Idah his wish for regular football.

Such is the nature of these things now Knapper has spoken there will be those who wanted to hear more – about whether Wagner is his man longer term or the detail around the strategic vision he has now presented to the Norwich board.

The former was never going to happen, with Wagner tasked with zeroing in on the top six and the latter will only start to take shape publicly once those above Knapper have digested his intended direction of travel.

But there was enough to piece together a summer of change is on its way. City’s league performance from here, and achieving a top six spot, might be defining factors in what happens in the dug out.

But the squad is set for a ‘turnover’ to quote Knapper. Consider the soon to be out-of-contract senior players, who he revealed in his briefing he had not had any discussions about extending their stay.

Factor in those younger players scattered around the Football League on loan, who will return in the summer under a sporting director who reaffirmed his absolute commitment to the development of academy talent at the heart of his blueprint.

Then add a re-stated desire to recalibrate the age profile of this squad in any future recruitment.

The narrative around Rowe and Sara, principally, has long been set. Both will be coveted this summer, and if clubs meet respective valuations and Norwich remain a Championship entity, it is difficult to see either staying in the building.

Knapper may have none of the bullish persona of his predecessor, but the plates are starting to shift, and the status quo will not be an option. It will be a compelling watch off the pitch when this season concludes.

4. Charm offensive

Rowe and Sara are not the only Norwich players likely to be in demand this summer. Gunn is set for a grand European Championship showcase as Scotland’s number one in a group that features the hosts, Germany.

A point Wagner was quick to make recently when pressed for his assessment of where he ranks in the Championship pecking order.

A rare aberration for Colback’s opener at Loftus Road, from Reggie Cannon’s cross, underlined he is fallible. Typical it came after Wagner had hailed his work in the comeback win over Coventry, and his status among the best in the division.

For all the turbulence and fluctuation in results, Gunn has been a constant. His departure against Leeds with a muscular injury in late-October coincided with a wretched downturn in results that left Wagner with his back against the wall.

Given Gunn will return from international duty in the summer with 12 months left on his existing Carrow Road deal, and potentially his reputation enhanced and profile raised, Knapper has a tricky conundrum.

That Norwich would want to keep a player of Gunn’s calibre is beyond doubt, but for a player who may feel he has unfinished business at Premier League level, after the manner his Southampton career tailed off, it will need to be a persuasive case and a vision.

Gunn’s devotion to his boyhood club, and the strength of the family ties, hardly need stating, but it is natural to expect at his age he wants to operate at the highest level. Knapper’s summer recruitment challenge is complicated and multi-faceted.

Yet even a turnover, and the addition of fresh blood, requires a framework already in place around a core group of indispensable players. Gunn is firmly in that category.