Norwich City are hoping to use the muscle memory of coming through several big encounters on their Championship turnaround to help navigate today's trip to Preston North End. 

The stakes could not be higher heading into this afternoon's meeting - with Preston hoping for a win to close the gap to the Canaries to two points with a game in hand. For Norwich, victory would move them eight points clear of Ryan Lowe's side with three games remaining. 

That has made this trip to Deepdale all the bigger - with Norwich hoping to retain control of their own destiny by winning this clash. 

For David Wagner, each week the questions at his press conferences seem to be centred around the 'size' of the contest in question. He is hoping that Norwich's experience of navigating games with high stakes will work in their favour today. 

"We are very humble because we know where we have come from," Wagner said. "If you want to go on a run like we have, you have to do what the players have done to come from a real low into a real position where a lot of teams would be excited about.

"This means that you had a lot of big games in this period where you have to compete and be successful as well. If you haven't done this in the last four or five months, then you wouldn't be in the position that we are now compared to where we were at the beginning of November.

"This is exactly what it means. The guys have faced a lot of big games at home and away and they want to compete.

"This is why they are in the position they are now - this is what we want to keep going and we're pushing for it. Nothing is decided and nothing will be decided after Saturday as well. Nothing is done, but we are in the middle of the race, and this is exciting for us."

The Pink Un: Ryan Lowe's Preston are on a fine run of Championship form.Ryan Lowe's Preston are on a fine run of Championship form. (Image: PA Images)

Preston arrived at Carrow Road in December looking to halt a rot of three straight defeats and now a run of two defeats in 12 Championship matches has kept their top six dreams alive. 

That goalless draw saw City frustrated for extensive periods and, given the fact they are at home, coupled with what is riding on the game, Wagner is not expecting a repeat performance from today's hosts. 

"I expect it will be completely different," he said. "They will not sit and wait for a draw. This is not the position that they are in at this moment of the season.

"I expect a super challenging, super exciting, and super interesting game. We are looking forward to playing this away game - the fourth last game of the season - and it will be a good challenge."

This trip to Lancashire caps off a week that has seen City beat East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town at Carrow Road before squandering a two-goal advantage against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek. 

Wagner bemoaned a lack of killer instinct to put the game beyond all doubt after that encounter - but is confident the second-half experience can serve as a useful experience ahead of a similar test against Preston. 

"If we reflect on this game, then we should speak about the truth, and the truth is that we didn't put this game to bed.

"We had enough chances to do so, but it's also the truth that in ball possession, we played more or less over the whole game, very well against a team that wanted to press us super high and in the second half went very direct.

"We defended set-pieces, throw-ins and a lot of corners super well apart from the two where we unfortunately have not done our job.

The Pink Un: Norwich City lacked killer instinct in their draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night.Norwich City lacked killer instinct in their draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night. (Image: Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd)

"Performance-wise, this was an away performance where we can say it was a good one. Unfortunately, it was only enough for a point where we were able to get three. It makes sense if we speak about the truth to name the negatives, which are clear, but the positives as well. This is always have we done it.

"I always try to stay calm and don't get driven away too much to the left or the right - I stay focussed on what happens in this game and then the next one as well. That is Preston.

"The good thing is that everything we experienced in the second half we will face on Saturday again. It was a good first test for us even if Preston do it on another level.

"This is exactly what we have to make sure, to compete how we have done - if we have our chances and play to our strengths, then we will create chances, and then we need to be ruthless to put the game to bed." 

This time of year in the football calendar becomes more frenetic and emotional for supporters, with results meaning more. 

That was the case for Norwich during the week. After frustrations about their draw at Hillsborough, they tuned in on Wednesday night to see their lead over the chasing pack grow by a point. 

The Pink Un: David Wagner knows the size of the game for Norwich City.David Wagner knows the size of the game for Norwich City. (Image: Paul Chesterton)

Just like many of a yellow and green persuasion, Wagner couldn't resist keeping tabs on the action. 

"To be fair, I watched Bristol because we play them next week, but I checked my mobile phone a few times and checked the results - this is the truth," he said. 

"You have to take it anyway, whatever happens. At this stage of the season, you look at the results maybe one time more on your mobile phone."

The hope is that with a victory this afternoon, Norwich can afford to relax somewhat ahead of two home clashes against mid table opposition in Bristol City and Swansea.