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Neil Kilkenny: "Early Second Half Goal Calmed Nerves"

13 August 2014

Preston North End midfielder Neil Kilkenny feels his goal early in the second half of the 2-0 win over Rochdale helped calm some nerves in the squad.

The 28-year-old scored just three minutes after the break to double the Lilywhites' lead, adding to Andy Little's first goal for the Club, in their Capital One Cup first round victory.

Simon Grayson's side had struggled to find their rhythm in the early stages of the tie, with Little's strike coming against the run of play, but Kilkenny's 48th minute volley inspired a much improved second half display.

Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com following the match at Spotland Stadium, the Australian international admitted his goal helped build confidence within him and his team-mates.

"It settled the nerves a bit," he said.

"We got a goal against the run of the play to some extent in the first half, they had a lot of crosses into the box but Little has gone up the other end and scored.

"Coming out after half time and scoring an early goal just settled the nerves and then we went onto win comfortable and play really well in the second half."

Preston's 2-0 win over the Dale is their first victory of the new season. The Lilywhites drew 1-1 with Notts County in their Sky Bet League One opener at Deepdale at the weekend.

Kilkenny, who started in both games, explained the contrast between the performances, saying: "I think we played a lot better on Saturday but didn't get the result we wanted and today we haven't played as well as we can but got the result.

"If it was pre-season we would be disappointed because of the performance but now it's great to get a win and results are what matter."

He added: "In an ideal world we want to play well but at the same time it's about results and we're glad that we got a result today."

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