Simon Grayson thought his North End side put in a very professional performance in beating Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 to progress in the FA Cup.
The Lilywhites safely negotiated their way into the hat for Sunday’s draw thanks to a goal of the season contender by Kevin Davies, and the gaffer was delighted with the win.
Speaking to the press following victory at Adams Park, Grayson said: “I thought the first half was even and there wasn’t too much quality.
“We had to make sure that we passed the ball a bit better, but we obviously knew we were going to be in a tough game.
“Gareth Ainsworth has his team working extremely hard and we knew what to expect, the threat from set pieces, we had to handle that, but obviously a moment and a bit of class from Kevin Davies has won us the game.
“We are delighted to have got through because it was potentially an upset on the cards, but we were professional in our approach and did what we had to do to win the game.”
The one and only goal of the game was worthy of winning any match, with Davies thumping the ball up and over Ingram in the Wycombe goal from all of 30 plus yards.
And speaking of the goal, Grayson added: “What a goal it was, he just turned and hit it from 30 odd yards, he probably hasn’t scored too many goals like that, but it was a fantastic strike worthy of winning any game.
“Second half we passed it better and created some good opportunities, we just couldn’t get that second goal to kill the tie off and when you are only one goal up you sometimes are looking over your shoulder and we had to defend manfully because they were a threat from set pieces and I’m just delighted to have got through and kept another cleansheet.”
PNE were only able to strip six substitutes, following injuries to Iain Hume and Neil Kilkenny in training after arriving south yesterday, but the manager is hoping these are not long term concerns and that he will have a few more players at his disposal next Saturday against Crawley Town.
“Humey felt his hamstring was a bit tight when he woke up this morning and Kilkenny just rocked his ankle,” continued Grayson.
“So we’d expect them to hopefully be available next weekend.
“Lee Holmes is making good progress, Jack King we are still waiting to hear results of a scan that he had on Friday morning and obviously the lads that are out suspended, so that is why we have got a squad.
“The squad was utilised today and performed very well.
“We knew we had a tough ask in terms of the numbers we had out and unavailable today.
“I think we have got 13 players unavailable due to injuries, suspensions and other players being out on loan.
“We lost Hume yesterday and Kilkenny in training, hence why we were down to 17 men, but we certainly had a very strong team to start with and it gave the younger ones an opportunity to be on the bench.
“We weren’t taking it lightly, hence the strong team that we played.
“We have always said that when players get opportunities they have got to take them.
“I thought David Buchanan showed what he is all about, Paul Huntington came back into the team today and I thought Josh Brownhill in midfield was a handful with his forward runs and his all-round play.”
The win at Adams Park makes in five away victories in a row and ten matches undefeated for Preston and Grayson hopes the momentum generated continues as he looks forward to the third round draw.
“We have got to keep the momentum going,” stated the gaffer.
“Keep the confidence levels going and there is a desire to not get beat.
“We want to keep this unbeaten run going as long as possible.
“The fixtures come thick and fast and we have got a tough game at Crawley next week and hopefully we have got one or two more bodies available, but we are delighted with what the team are doing and how they are performing at this moment in time.
“I’m not bothered who we get to be fair, everybody will have their own favourites, whether we get a big team away from home and go there and enjoy the day and try and get some revenue, or you get a decent tie at home and you try to get through to the fourth round, so whatever will be and we will look forward to it.”