Manager Simon Grayson felt his side did not perform in all areas of Saturday’s last ditch draw with Tranmere at Deepdale.
The North End boss was not happy, despite the 90th minute equaliser from substitute Joe Garner and felt there was no area that his side lived up to the standards he expects from them.
“We were average, so say the least,” said the gaffer. “We weren’t good enough in all areas. The defenders weren’t on the front foot stopping them playing; the midfield players didn’t pass the ball as well as they should have done and in the final third we didn’t have the creativity we needed to break them down.
“So it was a disappointing performance, but when you look like you are going to lose the three points, to get an equaliser at the end, could be an important point at the end of the season.”
He was delighted, however, that for the second week in a row his bench made an impression on a game; sub Stuart Beavon setting up Garner for the leveller.
“We have always said that we have a good squad and we have players that are capable of scoring goals, with good options when we need to change it slightly,” continued Grayson.
“I thought as the game went on we looked a little bit predictable, moving the ball back to front and up to Kevin too quickly and I thought the option of putting Stuart Beavon and Garns on could change that and I am delighted that Joe got the goal.
“He has looked very sharp in training over the last few weeks and has never got the goals that his performances deserve when he has got into the first team.”
The opening goal changed the game at Deepdale; allowing the opposition to play very deep and hit North End on the break, something the manager feels his side have to deal better with.
“We will take the point and we will learn from the experience, because you have to make sure that you deal with situations like today for the next time they come up.
“The first goal in any game is vitally important – especially when you’re at home. If the opposition gets it, like today, it gives them the chance to get behind the ball and if you push people forward they try and hit you on the break and that’s what happened today.
“If we had got the first goal in the first half, when we had a few good opportunities – without being really clinical and without the quality that we have got up there – then it could have been slightly different. But it is the respect that we have earned.
“Teams are going to come here and play like that and we have to learn how to deal with those situations.”
He also explained the situation with Paul Gallagher, who appeared to go off injured on the hour mark and the missing Josh Brownhill: “Paul just got a bit of cramp. He can train as much as he wants, but first team football can’t be replicated.
“He showed the qualities that he’s got and he will feel the benefit of 60 minutes today and we can look at the long term and not just at today’s game.
“Josh tweaked his calf in last weekend’s game against Notts County and wasn’t quite ready for today, but he should be back in training towards the end of next week and be ready for the weekend.”