Manager Simon Grayson spoke to PNE PlayerHD after the clash with Derby County at Deepdale and reflected on the areas his side could improve.
Chris Martin’s two first half goals were enough to give the Rams the three points, despite Daniel Johnson’s 103rd minute strike that halved the arrears.
Speaking to the Club’s online channel after the game the gaffer felt his side could have done better with both the first half strikes, he said: “We are disappointed that we have lost the game. Sometimes you have to analyse a game and work out what you need to do better to make sure you pick something up and I thought we started the game well and were well and truly in it, but we could have stopped both goals.
“Tom [Clarke] could have got closer to Johnny Russell for the first and then we didn’t cover round enough. They will look at it and see a great ball from Russell, which it was, and a great take and finish – and that’s the quality that Derby have, but we could have affected that better.
“We didn’t do the simple things well, covering enough well defensively, closing the spaces down or passing it as well as we could do and that was epitomised by the second goal when it was given away too easily and that led to the free kick that Chris Martin put in the top corner.
“In the second half we had a go, caused them a lot of problems.
“We went more direct and I was disappointed in the last three or four minutes that we didn’t manage the game better. We needed to throw it into the box. Yes, it’s an ugly way of playing, but they were down to ten men and we might just get a ricochet or a drop and something happens for you.”
The second half saw the introduction of deadline day signings May and Doyle, who both played their part as North End started to build some momentum, forcing Lee Grant into action on a number of occasions and the woodwork also coming to Paul Clement’s side’s rescue.
“When you look at the chances, Lee Grant made a great save from Eoin Doyle, Joe’s chance summed up his luck at this moment in time,” continued Grayson. “He is doing everything we want him to, hit the inside of the post and then came out into the keeper’s hands.
“This time last year that would have hit the back of the net, but things will come for Joe. There was a good goal from DJ as well.
“We created some momentum in the second half, but the injury stopped our flow, because at that stage we had them pinned in and it affected the way we were trying to get back into the game.
“It is never nice to see anyone stretchered off, but I believe Chris Baird is up and about now and we send him our best from everyone at the Club,” he added.
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