PNE.Com speaks to manager Graham Westley following the home game against Walsall.
PNE could have been awarded a penalty after 15 minutes when the officials failed to spot what was a blatant shove on Joe Garner in the penalty when the Deepdale debutant was just about to pull the trigger when presented with a simple tap-in from strike partner Stuart Beavon.
From the resulting counter-attack Walsall opened the scoring through Febian Brandy and they never looked back as they ended the day as 3-1 winners, but rather than blame the officials, Westley admitted his side were not good enough and that he is putting his every waking effort into putting things right, with signing replacements for injured duo Keith Keane and Scott Laird one of his main priorities.
“We mustn't keep feeling sorry for ourselves in terms of decisions we’re not getting,” Westley confessed.
“I think it would have been a great boost for the team to come back home, to go 1-0 up through that penalty. It would have been a great boost. As it was, a minute and a half later, we were 1-0 down through a moment of defensive slackness.
“But you can’t use the non-giving of the penalty as the reason for our defensive slackness. We have got to be sure that we are better in all aspects of our game.
“Going forward we weren’t threatening enough. In defence we were sloppy. Those are the bigger issues.”
The Lilywhites boss added: “There is no question we have lost a lot of grit, we have lost a lot of resolve in losing Keane and Laird from the back four.
“We haven’t looked as pretty or as resolute and we haven’t looked as purposeful going forward since those two key players have gone.
“We need to do something about that. We need to add some grit, add some resolve and that has been at the forefront of my mind since the window opened.
“I have been talking long and hard this week about trying to bring a right-back in. I think it is important for us to do it.
“I think we need some grit and resolve back in and I think we need some experienced defenders at this level, no question, because you can see it’s lacking.”
Westley admitted his relief that his squad have a week off on the training ground to try to find a way to put things right, while also revealing one of the reasons why his squad think things have not been going the Lilywhites way in recent weeks and their determination to put things right.
The Preston boss said: “We need that week off on the training ground and in the transfer market. We need to do some work on the training ground, and probably off it as well.
“We can’t shy away from that. We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got our focus on putting ourselves together in the right way.
“We’ve had a really long chat as a group of players and management afterwards. Some constructive stuff came out. The players are looking to solve the problems. They’ve got answers to the problems and now it is my job to make sure we capitalise.”
“One of the things the lads were saying afterwards was that as people they don’t feel that they are in an environment when they are doing enough for each other as mates because they are also new together, so they probably haven’t developed the relationships to levels that they need.
Westley added: “When you’re playing winning football you do that bit extra but we’re not playing winning football so they’re not doing that bit extra for each other and are probably playing as individuals.
“But they are individuals, what we need is some time off the pitch to get to know each other, and I understand what they mean.
The Lilywhites manager concluded: “In the concept of team building I can understand how important it can be to get the friendships and relationships right, so that bit extra you can give gets given.
“The boys are very focussed on that. They’re not looking to run away and hide from it, same as I am not. They are happy to face up to the issues and play their part in putting things straight.”