Neil Kilkenny believes the outcome against Brentford might have been different, had North End converted their early second half spot kick.
Adam Forshaw converted a 23rd minute penalty and Marcello Trotta doubled the away side’s advantage just three minutes later to ensure the visitors had the upper hand heading into half time.
Just after the break, the Lilywhites were awarded a penalty of their own but Joe Garner saw his effort saved by Bees ‘keeper David Button.
And Kilkenny, who replaced Josh Brownhill in the centre of midfield during half time, thinks the missed opportunity from the spot was of vital importance.
“We came up against a good team, we gave a silly penalty away in the first half which in a way there was really nothing in it and then obviously they’ve gone 2-0 up,” he told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview following the game.
“But I think if we would have scored the penalty in the second half in the first ten minutes of the second half then I think we would have pushed on and probably got a win, maybe a draw.
“But I think we would have pushed on and got it because we come out of the traps flying in the second half and we should have, in the first 15 minutes we put them under a lot of sustained pressure and they didn’t know what was happening.
“Like I said, if the penalty goes in, I think it would have been a completely different game because it would have been 2-1 and we’d have been pushing, they were obviously looking over their shoulders then.”
Brentford got their third goal in the 73rd minute as substitute Sam Saunders controlled the ball in the area and fired a volley beyond Declan Rudd from a tight angle.
The strike effectively ended any chance of a North End comeback and halted their nine game unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One.
“The third goal was sort of, once the third goal goes in it’s, with 20 or 15 minutes to go, it’s game over then,” the midfielder, on-loan from Bristol City, added.
“Obviously we had to try and keep chasing the game but it was disappointing.”
Preston have the chance to get back to winning ways against Carlisle United at Brunton Park on Boxing Day, with Kilkenny targeting another long, unbeaten run.
“We’ve been on a great run and that’s what we’ve got to do again now and that’s what we need to pick,” said Kilkenny.
“Now we need to go on another great run and we will be right up there and we’re all looking forward to that.”