Preston North End manager Simon Grayson conceded that Wolves deserved the three points following the Lilywhites 2-0 defeat at Molineux.
Despite having good spells in the contest, lady luck failed to smile on PNE, with Joe Garner hitting the crossbar, Iain Hume having a goal ruled out for offside and at least one strong penalty claim waved away to reiterate it just wasn’t North End’s day.
Speaking after the defeat, Grayson said: “I would say the better side won today.
“I thought when you look at the Wolves performance, they had a lot of energy about them and they have got some good quality.
“They should be putting on performances like that with the squad they have got and the players that they have got within this division, but I thought we competed well with them, it was a close game with some close decisions that maybe just didn’t go in our favour.
“Iain Hume’s first goal was disallowed which must have been a real close call, we have just seen it and if he is offside, he is literally half a yard, if that, offside.
“We had a good shout for a couple of penalties, but they are a good team and you have got to sometimes give the opposition credit, but I thought there was still positives to come out of our performance as well.
“It’s a different game if the offside flag doesn’t go up.
“If we get the first goal here then the place can be a little bit nervous with the support, but we didn’t.
“They were a vibrant team, we knew how they were going to play, they have got some good players, but we were probably just off it a little bit.
“Our decision making probably just wasn’t as good as it should have been.
“You look in the last ten, 15 minutes of the game, we are still playing nice football, but it has got to go in the box.
“You have got to sometimes put them under pressure and test their back four.
“We just referred to the other week when we played Port Vale and all Port Vale did was put it in the box, they got a scrappy goal and suddenly the nerves can be jangling a little bit for the home team, but we have got to learn from the lesson today.
“There was some decent performances and obviously the run has come to an end, but we have got to start a new one now.
“I would say we were slightly below par, but you have got to give credit to them.
“Look at the players they have got, they have got internationals, they have been playing well over the last few weeks and probably not got the results they have warranted with the performances.
“They have got international players, two years ago Premiership players, so credit to the opposition, but we just felt that our decision making was taking too many touches, too many short passes.
“It’s nice to play nice football at times, but sometimes you have got to get the opposition turned and facing their own goal and that’s what they did to us at times.
“They had our back three and back four running towards our own goal and putting us under pressure, we didn’t do that enough today, we were too predictable, too much football played in front of their back four and in the midfield where they were very strong.
“We were probably just a little bit too open at times, but we knew we were still in the game.
“We had controlled possession of the ball for large periods of that first half and as the game went on, we got a little bit more open, changed to a back three to try and get back into it, so we are disappointed and we will learn from this game today.
“Joe Garner hits that one and it is at 0-0 also, so we have that, the offside goal, this game is all about taking the opportunities, getting decisions that go for you sometimes and having the rub of the green, but we probably didn’t have any of that today.”
The defeat ends Preston’s fantastic recent run, but the gaffer was proud of what his players have achieved of late and is now looking to right today’s wrong on Tuesday against Ipswich Town, before PNE host Coventry City in Sky Bet League One next Saturday.
“The run was going to end somewhere and I have just said to the players there that to have ten games unbeaten, every Club in the country would have been absolutely delighted with that and the performances,” added Grayson.
“To come here, everybody knew it was going to be a tough game for us and we knew that it wasn’t the be all and end all of the season.
“Losing today is not the end of our season, there are plenty more points and if we had won the game it wouldn’t have been the end of the season on a positive note, so we don’t get despondent, we look and learn from this experience and the players will come out fighting on Tuesday night and then next week against Coventry.”
The trip to Molineux marked the debut of North End’s latest recruit Scott Wiseman who came off the bench and the manager was pleased to get him involved despite the circumstances and reiterated the point about competition for places in the current squad.
“It was nice for him to settle in, not easy to come in when you are down in a game and chasing it,” continued the gaffer.
“We were never going to start him because it was too quickly for him to integrate into the squad, but he is a good addition to it.
“We have always said that the competition for places is there for everybody and you have seen the squad that we have had today and the players that we have had sat in the stand.”