Simon Grayson thought that few people could argue with the result in North End’s 2-2 draw with MK Dons on a rain soaked day at Deepdale.
In a match with, stunning goals, defensive mishaps, a penalty and some decent passing on a slick surface, Grayson was satisfied that only small margins stopped the Lilywhites claiming all three points despite going ahead twice in the first half.
Speaking after the match, Grayson said: “We knew how they were going to play, they don’t change, it was something that we worked on Thursday, Friday, that we had to lock onto their players, play higher up the pitch and a lot quicker.
“To many times players were caught in half and half positions which is not doing a job in either way.
“They might as well not go and then find it hard to break through us or go further up the pitch and stop them getting into that routine, so again it will be a lesson learnt by our players, how to deal with certain situations.
“I felt one or two players looked a bit off it in terms of they were a little bit leggy and below their performances that they have produced over the last couple of weeks, but saying that, we have drawn a game and the two goals that we have conceded are an absolute worldy and a penalty.”
He continued: “I don’t think we can have too many complaints about the draw, we are still unbeaten and we want to get our first win on the board as quickly as possible.
“They got at our back four too often and had too much possession for my liking, that was something that we talked about but we didn’t really deal with it well enough.”
North End went ahead through an Antony Kay own goal before being pegged back thanks to an early goal of the season contender by Jason Banton.
Joe Garner pounced on a defensive slip to score his first PNE goal but after the break Chris Humphrey was adjudged to have tripped Samir Carruthers allowing Shaun Williams to level from the spot.
But at 1-0 up, North End had chances to put daylight between the two sides, creating several untaken chances, and MK Dons deservedly drew level through their second half performance.
And it was Garner who received the post-match praise of the manager.
“We have been working on getting more balls into the box earlier and putting the opposition defenders under more pressure and if you put it into an area, either your lads are going to be in their trying to put it into the back of the net or the defenders might make the mistake just like they did today and that’s what we did.
“We wanted to try and build off that and we didn’t do too bad at times.
“I thought the front two were a handful, I thought Joe Garner took his opportunity well and it is a monkey off his back now that he has got that first goal because I think it would have been playing on his mind a little bit, but I thought today he showed what a good player he is, good attitude, he worked hard and put the defenders under pressure.
“We tried to get that second goal and had some opportunities and even when it went to 2-1, Lee Holmes had that opportunity with the empty net and it has just drifted wide at the lasts second, so we did ok first half, it was just the second half that the game was too open and too stretched and we didn’t get close enough to stop them from playing, hence why they got into areas where they could hurt us and when we did
get the ball back we gave it away a little bit too cheaply and then you go chasing again.
“Collectively as a team, we didn’t do what we would have liked to have done and as well as we have done over the last couple of weeks.”