Graham Westley shares his thoughts to the local press after the 1-1 draw at Tranmere.“It was a game against two sides who had a similar philosophy of trying to own the football and we worked a lot more of the football than they did and this mantra that we just kick it long and they are big and strong, it is tosh that is being spouted and they need to take a look at themselves.”
“The mantra goes out that we are big and strong but the bottom line is we have played them off the park and anyone who can’t see that is missing the game.
“We will be disappointed if we don’t win any game anywhere in the league. Our philosophy, mentality and attitude is to come and win every game we play and as the team begins to take that on board I am sure you will see Preston win a lot more games.
“The hunger, the quality of football, the appetite to defend , the sense of desire for the team to go and win against the league leaders in their own back yard and they are time wasting and see the game out. For me that says everything about the players’ performance.
The gaffer said: “In most games we have done things that have made me think that there is hope for this team and today once again we showed a lot of good signs.
This season, Preston North End have undeservedly been labelled nothing but a physical side despite some eye catching performances including passing Tranmere off the park, and the North End boss concluded his interview with a strong rebuttal of those statements.
“Maybe there is that aspect, we will go forward with a lot of confidence from today and we will focus on those things.”
“It is an interesting stat since we last were awarded a penalty. There is a factor about big clubs sometimes have decisions that go against them because the fans almost make the referee feel obliged to stand up to the fan base and show they can make a decision.
“He got away with it but there is no point looking back on those things and I am certainly not pointing fingers at the officials. They make honest decisions and sometimes they get them right and sometimes they don’t.
“Stuart Beavon had his head kicked off, in any other area of the field that would have been given and I don’t understand why goalkeepers get the licence to kick people in their own areas.
“But let’s face facts we have gone a lot further forward from where we were at the beginning of the season. We are progressing, developing and evolving and we starting to look like a useful side.
“We take a lot of confidence from that but a sense of learning, we haven’t shown enough ruthlessness to kill the game and going forward we need to add that and add a killer instinct.
“The way we look at it, we had a lot of confidence coming to the league leaders, we dominated the game and we were by far the more convincing of the two teams.
“Anyone can score a goal in football and if you are not ruthless enough with your play then you can pay the price.
“It is tough when that happens because we earned the right for the goal and in the second half if you look at the number of chances we had we could have easily won it more convincingly than 1-0.
“I said to the boys after the game, you are not going to get anywhere in life if you worry about injustice, you have to get on with it and go and get the goods.
Talking about the controversy, Westley said: “I don’t make it a habit to be hard done by, the penalty incident in the first half, a stone wall penalty that is not given and the opposition are going to go down to ten men in the same incident.
North End, who have now gone nearly 30 games without winning a penalty, should have had at least one spot kick go in their favour, but referee Phil Gibbs opted against pointing to the penalty spot.
The Lilywhites dominated play at Prenton Park, and were unlucky to not head back to Lancashire with all three points after a scintillating away performance against the table toppers.