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Connolly: Point Well Earned

13 April 2013

Ten man Preston North End came away from Brunton Park with a hard fought draw against Carlisle United this afternoon.

Jeffrey Monakana’s early strike was cancelled out by a Lee Miller goal before half-time and Connolly was pleased to get a point which was the least that Preston deserved.

Speaking to PNE.Com after the match, Connolly said: “I thought that was a point well-earned today.

“The boys are shattered on their feet in there.

“It was a real tough encounter, I don’t want to keep moaning about wind and pitches but they were real tough conditions today.

“I thought we dominated for most of the game but it was a tough, tough game.

“I thought we dominated throughout the game and should have been two or three up at half-time.

“The sending off was a little bit harsh and I thought we were on top most of the game and we were comfortable.

“They have had a couple of long range shots that Stucks [Thorsten Stuckmann] has dealt with but apart from that we were cruising really.

“This is a tough place to come so it’s all credit to us really.” 

North End was reduced to ten men with 25 minutes remaining when Nicky Wroe received his marching orders for a second bookable offence when he was adjudged to have caught Carlisle goalkeeper Mark Gillespie, but the Lilywhites continued to force the issue as they went in search of the three points.

And despite the players paying in terms of tiredness, the end result was pleasing for the boys.

“Sometimes when you go to ten men it is easy just to shut up shop and close the door and we did do that well, but we also broke on the counter attack quiet well and had a couple of half chances,” added the Leeds United loan man.

“I think we can be really pleased with our effort today.

“There is no harm in coming here and getting a point.

“I was struggling a little bit towards the end with a bit of cramp in the old calf but I was really pleased with the 90 minutes and I am enjoying it here, I really am.

“I am really enjoying the place and I am really enjoying this loan spell, it has been really fruitful for me.”

As Simon Grayson continues to plan for the 2013/14 season, the Lilywhites made four changes to the starting line-up with Stuckmann starting for the first time since February and Joe Garner, John Mousinho and Monakana also getting another chance to show what they can do from the start.

And Connolly was quick to credit the depth and ability of the squad.

The PNE No.15 continued: “The lads have been working hard since the gaffer has come in and even when the old gaffer was here.

“The lads know each other’s games inside and out.

“There hasn’t been a massive change in personnel in the squad; the gaffer has kept the same squad.

“Only 11 can play but there are about ten or 11 lads who can come straight in and not even look out of place and they did that today so all credit to the lads who did come in.”

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