Manager Simon Grayson sung the praises of hat-trick hero Craig Davies, but said it was all about the team after the Lilywhites’ biggest league win of the season.
The on loan No.17 scored a 25 minute treble in the second half to thrash the Cumbrians in front of over 11,500 at Deepdale, but there were 14 positive performances for the manager, with every PNE player looking in form and hungry.
Speaking after the team picked up their tenth home win of the season and their third in a row, Grayson said: “Craig is capable of doing that. He’d probably admit that in the past few weeks he’s been a little bit short in what we’ve asked him to do, he’s been in and out of the team, but when he’s on song he’s too powerful for anybody. He’s done it in the Championship and today he was really lively.
“He and Beavon were outstanding and you could go right through the team and say that about all of them.
“Alan Browne came in and looked like he has played 100 games today, so there were many pleasing performances, but today it was all about the team.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for him to come into the starting line-up after his brief chances as a sub and he showed huge calmness when he was on the ball and energy to get around it and he has an eye for goal.
“We are very pleased with how he has developed; he has given me something to think about, as has Josh Brownhill. We thought he was ready for his first team chance and he has taken it and I am really pleased with what the young players have done – there is a bright future for them.”
The Deepdale demolition was something that the manager said had been coming for weeks, if not months: “We have been saying for a few months that we have had some really good performances and the scorelines haven’t reflected how well we’ve played at times and we did say that somewhere down the line someone would be on the end of a bit of a spanking and, unfortunately for Carlisle, that was today,” he continued.
“We started extremely well and the two goals were more than deserved. You always know that teams will always have a spell in a game and they did that just before half time, getting a goal from the only way they really looked like they were going to score – from a set piece.
“We came out for the second half and started very well, got the early goal and went from strength to strength. We knew that we’d played well for the first 30 minutes, past it quickly and exploited the areas we needed to, but 2-0 can be a scoreline where the game is in the balance and we knew we had to start the second half quickly.
“We the goal and from then on we looked powerful, we passed the ball really quickly and we got the six goals, which was a bonus.
“Today there were some fantastic individual performances, but they all came together to make a fantastic team performance.”
The loss of top scorer Joe Garner from the squad on the morning of the game, due to his partner going into labour, did not upset matters.
Chris Humphrey and Scott Wiseman were also out with injury and Club captain John Welsh missed the game through suspension, but the changes to the side made no difference.
“I’ve said for most of the season that we have a really strong squad and today was a clear example of that.
“When we do make changes it doesn’t make us any weaker.
“We only had six subs today and if we are going to do that then we might have to do the same again next week with Joe Garner sat in the stands!” He joked.
“We just showed what we are capable of doing today. People who have not been in the team have kept themselves sharp and prepared for that day when they are called upon.
“I said to Scott Laird after the game ‘you probably weren’t expecting to be in the team today, but you came in and did very well’ and that was the case with all of them.
“We were without a few players, but that didn’t make any difference to us.”
Finally, momentum has been the buzz word over the past couple of weeks and the gaffer finished by hoping for more of the same in the final weeks of the season.
“This was never going to be an easy game because Carlisle have been very hard to beat and break down over the past few weeks. We knew we had to play with a high intensity and purpose and we have done that today.
“We worked very hard during the week on the things we needed to do to try and exploit their weaknesses and that has come to fruition today.
“It bodes well for the remaining four games. We keep challenging them; we have a tough game at Brentford on Friday now, but we have always said that we want a momentum to take into the Play-Offs and therefore we will be going there looking to continue that,” he added.