David Wagner was delighted that his Norwich City squad rose to the occasion to assert control of their high-stake encounter against Preston. 

Gabriel Sara's late winner has seen Norwich all but squash North End's play-off dreams whilst tightening their own grip on the top six to move six points clear of nearest challengers Hull, who have a game in hand. 

In a cagey affair, it was that moment of magic from the Brazilian that ensured City recorded only their sixth away win of the campaign in front of a jubilant away end of 1,500 travelling supporters. 

Ahead of two home matches against Bristol City and Swansea, they are now in a wonderful position to tee up a play-off semi-final and even have West Brom in their sights after their defeat to Sunderland this afternoon. 

Wagner was delighted with his team's performance, especially amid the pressure put onto the contest by Preston boss Ryan Lowe. 

"A massive win. Another one. If you see the results [elsewhere] in recent games, then it makes it even bigger that my team is so super competitive and consistent in picking up points, but good performances as well. 

"In ball possession, we were very calm, very composed and never rushed it without creating so many clear cut chances," Wagner said. 

"We always looked in control and I always had the feeling that we should score. We gave very little away and they are a threat in transition, which we avoided, and a threat in set pieces and they showed why. This was the only area where we had some problems. 

"It was a deserved win. With the amount of pressure that the opponent's manager put on this game, it was important to keep your head calm and cool the fans down. The players did this because they kept long spells of ball possession. 

The Pink Un: Norwich City's players dug deep to secure a valuable 1-0 victory against Preston.Norwich City's players dug deep to secure a valuable 1-0 victory against Preston. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

"I, on purpose, haven't put so much pressure on this game because sometimes it could be a big backpack for the players if you do this. 

"We said 'come on, keep going, keep following the game plan and you have a good idea how you like to play and enjoy the occasion. Enjoy the occasion because you have done so well in recent months'.

"To have a clean sheet, a good performance and a win in a game like this - it's a very, very good afternoon."