It might not have been Saturday’s free-flowing, fast paced, goal-laden encounter, but manager Simon Grayson was just as pleased with his side’s latest three points.
Daniel Johnson, four minutes before the interval, and Jermaine Beckford nine minutes from time, gave the Lilywhites their eighth win in nine Sky Bet League One games and the gaffer felt it was no more than they deserved.
“We say to the players ‘do what it takes to go and win the game’,” he told the Club’s online video service. “If that means playing free-flowing football, like we did on Saturday, then great, but if you have to be dogged and resilient then you have to go and do that as well and we know that would be the case tonight.
“They are a different team to when we faced them earlier in the season. They work hard, they play a little bit longer and they turn you and they were always going to be the hardest team we have played against over the past few weeks, because of their work rate without possession of the ball. We had to make sure we were alert to situations all the time and work hard.
“In the first half we took a bit to get going and it was a bit scrappy, but sometimes you have to dig in and make sure the opposition don’t get a foothold in the game and we managed to do that, got a great goal again from Daniel and then in the second half we were compact as a team, passed it really well and got the second goal that we deserved.”
Daniel Johnson scored the opener and played a massive part in the second and the PNE boss was yet again impressed by his transfer window purchase.
“Nothing surprises you with Daniel. He carries the ball well, he passes it well and the number of times he has got into those positions and rather than smashing it, like some people do, he is really composed and just passes the ball into the net.
“Against anybody when you are 1-0 up you are concerned about an equaliser, but tonight we were patient, we kept passing the ball and we got into positions where we could have made better decisions.
“But the second goal was a great goal. Daniel again won it in the middle of the park, carried it, out to Callum, who connected with Gally, who in turn made a great run to the byline and crossed for Jermaine – it was a good team goal and it was nice to see.”
To watch more of the manager’s reaction as the Lilywhites maintained their place in the top two, click here now to watch the full interview on PNE Player.