Scott Laird is adamant North End will learn lessons from their pre-season defeat to Fleetwood Town.
North End were reduced to ten men after only half an hour when Joe Garner was sent off after an altercation with Steven Schumacher, but Laird is hopeful that what hurts today, will be beneficial when the season gets underway.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com, the North End No.3 said: “Whether the referee and fourth official saw something we will never know, I can’t make a comment on that, but a testimonial friendly game, you just think common sense might prevail a little bit.
“In some ways it is good to get a game were you have got ten men because it happens in the season so it was good to get the chance to play with ten men and try a formation out and do different things.
“In a season, things like this happen and you have got to deal with it, we didn’t deal very well with it and hopefully we can learn from this so when it does happen again we won’t make the same mistake.
“It is a shame that we lost, we never want to lose, even in friendlies, but it is good to get that out of the way and learn some lessons for when it does matter when three points are on the line and we won’t make that mistake again.
“We changed formation and it was a bigger shift to cover that extra man that we had lost but we didn’t do enough, we didn’t do enough of it, we might have done enough running, but we didn’t do enough of getting ourselves in the right positions and stopping them from scoring goals and getting into the positions to stop them finishing off their moves, but we have learnt from it and it is a big lesson to learn and a good time to learn that lesson is now.”
Despite the scoreline, the Lilywhites started the game well; the hosts never really threatening.
And despite going down to ten men and trailing by one goal at the break, North End started the second-half the better team, Keith Keane coming close to volleying an equaliser home, before PNE penalty claims were waved away when Lee Holmes was bundled over in the box.
Immediately after that incident, the visitors succumbed to a quick fire double scored by Ryan Crowther and Antoni Sarcevic.
Discussing the positives to the performance, Laird continued: “We played really well until the sending off, we were getting the ball out from the back and they didn’t really threaten us until the goal.
“We started the second half really well, we had Keano’s [Keith Keane] chance and I thought with ten men, we were getting the ball out from the back and knocking it about very well, but then two quick goals really killed us off.”