Manager Simon Grayson felt his side created enough chances to win more than one game, but was delighted to take the solitary strike needed to beat Notts County.
A goal with just over ten minutes left of the first half, headed by Joe Garner, coming last off Magpies defender Haydn Hollins, was enough for North End to triumph against Chris Kiwomya’s men to lift them two places in the table, onto 46 points.
After the game the manager said that he and his staff had asked for a repeat of what they had seen since taking the reins and was pleased with the reaction he got.
“I thought it was a good performance,” said the Lilywhites’ gaffer. “We asked the players to show the same sort of desire and attitude to what they’ve done over the last few games.
“We played when we could play; we put bodies on the line and scrapped when we had to do and over the course of the game we could have run out quite comfortable winners.”
The pitch was hard and without much give, but the team played some attractive football and created plenty of chances: “We told the players to make the right decisions when they had the ball. We didn’t want to be predictable and go long, we wanted them to play it into the two ball-playing midfielders that we have got in Nicky Wroe and John Welsh and the two wide players, who are comfortable with the ball, and mix the game up and cause the opposition problems, and I thought they did that.
“The players didn’t take any undue risks when they didn’t have to and did the job they needed to.
“We could have won two games based on the chances we had, but when it is still 1-0 going into the latter reaches of the game, you have to stay strong physically and mentally , be organised and there is a real desire from the players at this moment in time to make sure that they don’t get beaten.
“They want to see the job through, which is a good sign for the future.”
The only thing the manager would like to have seen added to the display was slightly better decision making in the final third: “It is part of the game that when you are breaking into that final quarter of the pitch, that you have to make the right decisions and take the right options and be a little bit calmer and sometimes tonight we didn’t always do that,” he added.
“Stuart Beavon had four or five chances and we also didn’t work the goalkeeper enough when we got in and around the box and we summed that up in the last 30 seconds when we had four on one and didn’t take advantage.
“However, the players worked extremely hard again tonight and I am delighted that they did what they had to do to win the game.”
Remember, the next away game is the Gentry Day, organised by Preston Supporters Group. Dust off your bowler hat and your ‘whistle and flute’ and join us in the capital for what is always a superb day out. Tickets are on sale for the clash at Brentford now from the ticket office.