Alex Neil believes his Preston side were hungrier than Norwich after masterminding a 3-1 Sky Bet Championship victory over his former team at Deepdale.
The Scot was at the helm the last time promotion-chasing Norwich were in the Premier League in 2016 before his contract was terminated a year later following relegation.
But he watched on as Preston handed the Canaries their first away defeat in 13 games as Ben Davies, Paul Gallagher and Sean Maguire all found the net for the hosts.
Teemu Pukki grabbed a consolation for the visitors in added time but it was unable to take the shine off the win for Neil, who reserved special praise for goalkeeper Declan Rudd.
“It was an incredible performance from us,” he said. “Our start was going to be absolutely crucial, we know Norwich like to pass the ball, and we knew we had to get after them.
“Norwich have come here having lost something like one game in their last 20, but they came up against a team tonight that was hungrier than them and I think we deserved the win.
“We are playing well at the moment and I believe in my team. We showed again what we are capable of. I cannot be any more pleased with the performance.
“We needed to go and beat a team at the top of the table, showing how good we are, and we did just that. Norwich are a good side, but we harried them and created a lot chances to score.
“And when we got those chances, we took them, and that’s why we won. Declan was fantastic – I am only disappointed for him that we didn’t keep a clean sheet.”
Norwich, who had just two defeats in their previous 26 league fixtures, missed a chance to pull a goal back before half time when Marco Stiepermann’s spot-kick was saved by Rudd.
The loss for the Canaries allowed Leeds to leapfrog them at the top of the Championship and manager Daniel Farke was left frustrated with the result.
“We are unbelievably disappointed to lose this game and we should not have lost,” he said. “When you look at the game, we won all of the statistics, the amount of shots and possession.
“But in the end unfortunately we did not win the result. The penalty we conceded in the first half was not a penalty, and from that point we had to try and turn it around, which was hard.
“We did have a lot of chances to score and we created a lot in the second half. We know that games in this league are very tight and we have to try and use situations like the penalty to our advantage.”