Manager Simon Grayson admitted the missed penalty was the turning point, but felt his side lost too many individual battles in the defeat to Brentford.
The North End boss said that he felt his side could have got something from the game if they’d taken the good chances they had to get the third goal in the game, but said they must now look to start another good run at Carlisle United on Boxing Day.
“I am disappointed that we lost the game,” he said after the game. “I don’t think there was too much in the game, they got the penalty decision and then got another goal straight after, so we were disappointed to go in two down.
“We said to them at half-time that we wanted a reaction, get in amongst them and win our individual battles, with more quality and we also said that the next goal would be vital.
“Last week, at Crawley, they got the third goal and went on to get something and we had two great opportunities to get that third goal, the penalty and then Kevin Davies’ header and if we’d scored, we would have had the momentum and could have gone on to get at least draw out of the game.
“Unfortunately they got the third goal and that killed the game off.”
This was only the second time all season the Lilywhites had conceded three or more goals in a game and the manager said that this was a big disappointment.
“We have been very strong defensively as a team,” he continued. “People have done their jobs properly. But it was a tough game today; they’re on a great run, have some good players, but too many of our players lost their individuals battles all over the pitch.
“We didn’t have the right quality at times and some of our decision making wasn’t right, so it has been a bad day for us.
“We will analyse things, we’ve only lost three games all season and we have to remain positive and go up to Carlisle and look to get on another run.”
The Boxing Day trip to Brunton Park will see the Lilywhites backed by a sell-out North End following and the manager wants a performance to match that level of support.
“We will have fantastic support up there; Kevin Davies and Joe Garner are now suspended, Kev with a tackle and Joe, somehow, given for diving on the half way line. But we get Paul Gallagher back and one or two other players will come into the reckoning.
“When you suffer a defeat, as a manager you look for your players to react in the next game. The good thing about it, is that it is a quick turnaround and hopefully the players will have learnt what they need to do better from today for Thursday’s game.
“Nothing is won or lost in December. You have to maintain your form right through to the end of the season. Other teams have won, drawn and lost today, but we have to concentrate on what we need to do. We need to learn from every performance and get another positive reaction up at Carlisle,” he added.