Academy manager Nick Harrison was pleased with the result and performance from his boys tonight following a thumping success in the FA Youth Cup.
The young Lilywhites bossed the game from start to finish against Mansfield Town, running out comfortable 6-1 winners to earn a place in the second round against either Macclesfield Town or York City in front of more than 500 fans at Deepdale.
And Harrison was quick to praise his players for the way they went about the win.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com, Harrison said: “We are most pleased with the performance tonight; we are pleased we won the game obviously, that’s important for the lads, but we wanted a performance as well.
“We wanted to get through, so the result was important, but we did really want to see a good performance and we got that today.
“From Thursday we talked about really getting at them for the first five or ten minutes and to test them and I thought we did that well and it allowed us to play and I think that then allowed us to pick them off and find the spaces and we got our nose in front.
“Once we got the second we were comfortable and I thought we deserved to go on and win the game.
“Because we played with such a high tempo for the first five or ten minutes, it allowed us to play and the lads took their chances with that.
“They were brave to get on the ball and they had the courage to get on the half turn and try and drive and commit a few defenders and I think they did that really well.
“We don’t mind Ross Dalton being a spectator for most of the night in goal, long may that continue, but he has got to concentrate and he was called into action a couple of times.
“We try and play and he is involved in our play from the back so we are delighted for everyone, right from Ross, up to the centre forwards.
“We try and give the front players a bit of a licence and we set them up with positions, but we allow them to get into spaces and all four of them, if you include Tyler Forbes, did that and I think all four of them deserved to get on the scoresheet.
“There was great movement and great enthusiasm to score goals so we are pleased with that.”
In preparation for the game, Harrison had his players training at Deepdale earlier today in a bid to get a feel for the place and that tactic paid off handsomely, with the reward being a chance to do it all over again in the second round.
He continued: “They are playing under the lights, in front of their family and it can faze a few, but we tried to integrate them into playing at Deepdale.
“We did a little bit of a session here this morning and I think that helped, but I think they were just so focused in terms of our game plan and got the successes from that really .
“We are looking forward to doing it all again but more importantly the lads are.
“We said they need to bottle this feeling up and whatever they did before the match in preparation, they need to do again.
“We are looking for them not just to do that in the cup game but in every game they go into and I think if they play like that, we can certainly go on a good unbeaten run which will hopefully stand them in good stead as they try and get their professional contracts.
“So we are looking forward to the next game, we will do our homework and I’m sure the boys will definitely be up for it.”
North End return to league action now and Harrison is keen to see similar performances from his players in league duty as they try to climb the Football League Youth Alliance North West Conference in the
“They have set a standard now,” stated Harrison.
“We have been waiting for the penny to drop with a few of them and I think that has happened today, but they have set the standard and unfortunately for them we now know how good they can play as a team and they have got to do that as often as they can.
“There will be a couple of dips I’m sure, but they have got to reach that standard as often as they can.”