Manager Simon Grayson felt his side did everything that was asked of them as they made it three consecutive home games beating Aston Villa 2-0 at Deepdale.
“I had a tough decision to make today with the team; the starting XI and the subs, but it is a squad game and people have come in and taken their opportunities,” he added.
“We wanted them to run themselves into the ground and leave nothing out on that pitch and they have done that to a man today, including those who came on.
“He is a handful. If you ask Chester and Elphick about the game today, they will know they have been in a game! As a lot of their players will, because there were some outstanding individual performances and that’s what we asked the players.
Hugill has now scored in three consecutive home games as the Lilywhites also won all three games, keeping clean sheets in them all and the No.25 also came in for praise from his manager.
“Aston Villa have some big name players, but it is reputation only. You have to make sure you stop them playing, do your jobs and come out on top and more of our players certainly came out on top in their individual battles than Aston Villa’s players did.”
“The players carried out the game plan which we asked them to do and they also managed the game really well late on as well. They are learning from every game that we are involved in and if we stick to what we are good at doing, then we have a good chance to beat anybody, because this is what this division is all about.
“Ben was very good today, earned his man of the match award, got his goal and we were very pleased with him. He has waited for an opportunity and shown what he is capable of.
Ben Pearson got it all going with a cool finish from 12 yards out after only five minutes, something that delighted the PNE boss: “We wanted to start off quickly and when it went into certain areas we needed to press them and try and nick the ball off them and that’s what happened.
“It would have been a huge disappointment if the penalty had gone in to make it 2-1, because it would have given a reflection to the game that it looked a lot closer than it was, because whilst Villa put a lot of balls in the box, we had a lot of good chances to have gone and won that game by an even bigger margin.”
“If you put all those ingredients into the mix, it gives you the opportunity to win a game and they thoroughly deserved it, because from start to finish, every player who was out there was outstanding.
“They worked, they pressed, they passed the ball in the right areas, counter-attacked quickly against them, created good chances and defended when we need to do.
“The performance was down to the hard work of all the individuals out there,” he said. “They carried out the game plan we asked them to do.
And after the game the gaffer spoke to PNE PlayerHD and thought his players had carried out the game plan perfectly.
First half goals from Ben Pearson – his first for the club – and a third in as many home games for Jordan Hugill gave the Lilywhites a deserved win, with Chris Maxwell saving a penalty with virtually the last kick of the game to give the scoreline a reflection it deserved.
To watch the full interview with the manager, plus to see a lengthy interview with John Welsh click here to log in to PNE PlayerHD now.