Tim Mercer's Fans' Panel verdict: A long afternoon of the kind I've not felt for a long time

Rampant Norwich put North End to the slaughter with a fine display that ensures another home defeat for our disgruntled supporters.
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More alarming for me is the way it was all just too easy for the Canaries and in truth they could have had six or seven.

Why Ryan Lowe chose to change to a 4-4-2 was beyond everyone’s belief and expectations and it backfired in a spectacular way.

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To make it worse he put all of the defence out of position in a move that smacked of not wanting to drop Bambo Diaby, due to his recent good form, and a need to accommodate Jordan Storey’s inclusion just because he is fit again.

Norwich’s Grant Hanley goes down under the challenge from Liam DelapNorwich’s Grant Hanley goes down under the challenge from Liam Delap
Norwich’s Grant Hanley goes down under the challenge from Liam Delap

Managers are paid to make tough choices and in this fan’s humble opinion he bottled it. Harsh words? Sometimes you have no option and the abject fayre served up in a damp and cold Deepdale made it very long afternoon of the kind I have not felt for a long time.

At 3-0 down in under 30 minutes, Lowe made a double substitution in order to revert to the usual wing-back formation. It was too late, as effectively the game was already lost by that point.

The mountain left to climb was beyond an abject team that included Tom Cannon making his debut and starting the game after signing on loan from Everton earlier in the week.

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The change at the half-hour point saw another new loan signing, Liam Delap from Manchester City, make his bow.

Both players must have wondered what was happening! For me they were one of the few bright spots on the day and both could have scored, linking up well to tee each other up for a couple of good opportunities.

There is now a need to put this one behind us and get at least something from our next match at Birmingham, which by being away is almost a relief as it seems to suit our style and has led to the most points won so far.

We must not take anything away from a superb Norwich performance that even had the Preston fans applauding man-of-the-match Teemu Pukki following his second-half substitution. Job well and truly done.

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