Preston North End manager Simon Grayson was relatively pleased with his players – although admits that the end product wasn’t there against MK Dons.
PNE were unable to break down their hosts in a 0-0 draw at stadiummk on Tuesday night, a feature which frustrated the gaffer when speaking to the press following the full-time whistle.
“We have tried to win the game today,” said Grayson.
“You can’t fault the players for their effort and how hard they worked and how disciplined we were in terms of not conceding, it was just when we got in to that final third, 20, 25 yard area, that we didn’t have the composure, the quality, or the end product that we really needed to go and break a team down.
“It has been a slight problem that we have had in terms of we have created a lot of chances over the last few weeks in games and we have not just managed to finish teams off when we have had those opportunities.
“We have got some good fire power all over the team, it is just maybe that little bit of quality, the end product, a little bit of ruthlessness and possibly a little bit of know how about the game as well.
“Scott Laird has got through and got pushed and probably should have gone down for a penalty, not intentionally going down and looking for penalties or anything like that, but he would have probably got one.
“We did everything up until that 18, 25 yard area where it matters and that is the difference with us at the moment were we can’t seem to turn the draws into victories.”
In what was a night when chances were at a premium, Grayson believes that his team were involved in an entertaining contest, on a pitch which not well versed for a passing display by either side.
He continued: “The pitch was very difficult, but we seemed to get the ball down enough times and play with it and make sure that we play with it in the right areas.
“Get it up to the front two and also when we have got the chance for the midfield three to get on the ball and try and cause them problems.
“I thought we handled the pitch as well as we could do and for a nil-nil, it was quite an entertaining game from both teams.
“We limited them to few opportunities considering they were the home team, there are just fine margins in matches, were we have hit the post instead of hitting the back of the net.”
Despite North End being in the ascendancy for most of the contest, MK Dons had arguably the best chance of the game, Jack King coming to Preston’s rescue with a header off the line.
A clearance which Grayson says was as good as a goal.
“Jack King’s clearance is why you have to stay switched on,” added the boss.
“We have said to the players that there were some good passages of play, but we have to make sure that we keep the door locked at the back and the clearance is as good as a goal for us, so he did his job really well.
“We have done all that side of the game very well, but we keep saying that the top end of the pitch is where it really matters.”