Manager Graham Westley shares his thoughts with the local press after the game.“They have edged it but we need to make sure we add to what we did today, if we do that then there is a strong proposition developing here.”
“We want to be the top side in the division, we don’t want to mess about and we want to be the team to set the standards.
“Today we did turn up and we did a lot of things right but there were not enough positives to win a big game against a top side.
“Today is different in terms of bouncing back, what the boys did today, at Oldham we didn’t turn up, we were awful and we let ourselves down,” said Westley.
With North End’s next game an away trip to Scunthorpe United on Tuesday, Westley is determined to see his side bounce back quickly as they look to stay in the promotion hunt.
“It is important that the players take the positives away from today, we had a lot of good possession and pressure but we need to make sure we need to turn our set plays into goals.”
“As a benchmark to where we have progressed to, we were eighth before the game and we are now ninth and that tells you a story.
“They are a strong side, a good standard and we don’t walk away thinking we are miles off the pace, you go away thinking that a bit of adjustment, some more fine tuning, we are not quite clicking as a winning side does but we are not a million miles away.
“Sheffield United have got a strong back four, they work hard in front as a team and they have got the talent up front where they can get a goal.
“We have recorded 1.5 points per game before we played today, we have progressed no question, we have gone up against the Play-Off finalists and they remain unbeaten this season.
Westley was quick to remind his players after the game how far they have come and who they were they up against.
“I could see a goal coming but at the end of the day they have gone away with a victory, they are fortunate but you can see why they are unbeaten at the same time.”
“I can understand why the team showed so much patience, we were dropping in and trying to play down the left. We could have stretched them a bit more but on the whole I don’t think we deserved to go in behind and in the second half we built a lot of good pressure and the pressure that it would take to get the goal.
“We wanted to get after them a little bit more than we did and although that was an aspect of our game that we are looking back on and thinking we should have done more in the first half and put the game on them.
“In-between times we had large periods of time with possession, we just found it difficult to show that cutting edge that it was going to take to unlock the door.
“There are a lot of positives for the players to take away from today, we are disappointed in ourselves that we could not show more thrust in the first half.
Despite the result, Westley revealed that he believed his side, who dominated possession for large periods of the game, could take a lot of positives out of their performance.
“Beardo [Chris Beardsley] also had a great chance in the first half. We should have scored and we need to make sure we are getting that right. We need to make sure we have a bit more purpose in the first half of games instead of leaving ourselves too much to do.”
“Meanwhile at the other end a magnificent world class save from their goalkeeper to keep out Paul Huntington’s header has denied us a point.
“It was a hopeful punt downfield and we have let him run in behind us and Dave Kitson has done what he does so well and lifted the ball over the goalkeeper into an empty net.
“Today’s result came down to two big moments,” said the Preston boss. “The goal that we conceded came down to a lapse of concentration before half time which was an unnecessary goal to give away.
The Blades, who remain the only unbeaten side left in League One defended stubbornly to deny PNE as Westley cursed two moments that ultimately denied North End a share of the points.
Westley was left to rue missed opportunities as the Lilywhites failed to make possession pay as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against promotion rivals Sheffield United.