Daniel Farke said his City side gave everything they had to try to get back into tonight’s game and take the points against Preston.
City went a goal down in the second minute and found themselves losing 2-0 after Paul Gallagher slotted home a 24th-minute penalty.
And despite missing a penalty of their own just before the break, Norwich came out fighting in the second half and were unlucky not to score earlier throughout large spells of attacking pressure.
Farke said he was disappointed to lose the game but pleased with the way his team responded and showed determination to score.
“We are unbelievably disappointed because we want to win each and every game,” said the City boss. “But sometimes it’s like this in football, this league is so close and in each and every game everything can happen.
"When we judge the game it was 100% not a game we should lose. We had 60% possession and 22 shots and they had four shots on our goal and three of them were goals. The fourth shot was a strike out of 40 yards against the crossbar and out of this they were able to score a third goal. We won all the statistics but the most important thing is the result and in the end we lost this game and we are disappointed.
“To be 2-0 down makes it really difficult to turn the game, especially at Preston. We had several chances and we missed a penalty and when you want to win points in such a game you should be effective and use the chance you get with a penalty. But again we missed such a situation.
“In the second half we risked so much and it was more or less a power play in front of the box and we had so many chances as well. And then out of one counter action they chose to have a strike out of 40 yards and it was a brilliant strike and went against the crossbar. The rebound was really unlucky and [Sean] Maguire was able to score with a second touch and a decent goal.
“It was one of those days where the opponent was there with four shots on the goal and three goals and we had 22 shots and just one goal. So for that we have to accept the loss.”
Farke changed his formation and brought on fresh legs in Jordan Rhodes and Kenny McLean to try to change the game, but said it was frustrating to watch his team throw away the chance to score from a penalty.
"The games are so close and Preston had a penalty without any reason but they were able to use this and we had a penalty situation and we were not able to use it,” Farke said. “If the opponent is there and uses nearly every chance and you miss so many chances then you lose the game.
"We changed our system and brought all of our offensive players in and I just can’t praise the lads enough for their reaction because how we handled this in the second half was outstanding. Normally it is unbelievably difficult to create chances against Preston and we created a really big amount. It is no coincidence that the goalkeeper [Declan Rudd] was Man of the Match. He was there with some unbelievable saves, but we also missed several really good chances.”
An angled shot from Teemu Pukki in the 93rd minute ended the game 3-1, but Farke was full of praise for how his players have performed in the recent months.
“The reaction was good, the desire and commitment was good and the togetherness was good, but sometimes small situations are determining for a game and today the small situations were 100% against us,” he said.
“But the lads have been brilliant in the recent weeks and months and were especially unbelievably good at using chances. Today we were a bit poor in this topic but I can’t complain too much because they tried everything and left their heart out on the pitch. We will speak about a bit of sloppy defending on the free kick.
“We were in the recent weeks there with outstanding performances and outstanding results with an amazing win at Leeds and an amazing win against Ipswich. We are all here together for four days and the mood is unbelievably good.
"It would have been perfect to be there with a win to sit still further on at the top of the league and if you would paint a picture it would exactly look like this, but if you want to be successful in football there is never an easy way and sometimes many thing are against you.”
More than 800 fans made the trip to Deepdale and their support didn’t go unnoticed.
Farke said: “During the whole game they were trying to support us and I’m glad that we were at least able in the last minute to score and sometimes even the goal difference is important and to have this goal is good.
“I think they were also happy with the desire and commitment of the lads because you could feel on the pitch that they tried everything, even when we were 3-0 down we tried everything to come back. I wanted to say thank you [to the fans] and give them some applause back because their support today was brilliant."