Manager Simon Grayson was delighted his side finally got a break, with the ricochet that gave them the three points in the Lancashire derby against Wigan Athletic.
And the PNE boss felt they deserved that slice of good fortune: “You earn the right sometimes and we did that tonight,” he said after the live Sky Sports encounter. “We kept it alive with Tom’s header from Gally’s ball in, Geads was on the front foot to get the shot away and Jordan probably didn’t know too much about it and that was probably a good thing!
“I was obviously pleased to see it go in, but it was just disappointing that we were off the pace from the goal until the second half, but ultimately in the second half we were a lot better and created some good chances.
“It was nice to get that early break and it gave us a platform to try and win the game. Come the end of the season people won’t remember how the goals were scored, strikers will just look at the total and ultimately the fact that it won us the game.”
Overall whilst his side surrended a fair bit of possession to the opposition, they created the more clear cut opportunities: “It was a decent game; it was quite open, with plenty of chances for both teams,” continued the gaffer.
“We got off to a good start with the goal, but from then on in the first half we were probably two yards off the pace. We allowed Wigan to get into the passing game that they are very comfortable and good at doing – without really hurting us too much.
“We got better in the second half and whilst the stats will prove they had more possession that us, we had the far clearer chances – Baptiste, Pearson and Hugill, where the keeper made a good save – whilst Maxi had very few saves to make.”
The aforementioned Maxwell and Simon Makienok were two of the players retained after Tuesday’s victory over Premier League Bournemouth down on the south coast and Grayson was keen to stress that their efforts and not those of the players they have replaced, were the reason for their inclusion against Gary Caldwell’s side.
“Both have been doing extremely well in training. We have got a squad and players who played well the other night. Sometimes selection is not down to the players who are in the team and what they have done, it is about those who are putting the pressure on and what they have done and that was the case with Maxi.
“[Chris Maxwell] has done ever so well in training and the games that he has played. There is no slight Anders, that is the reason we have made that call.
“With Simon, the only reason not to select him was because he played 120 minutes on Tuesday, but he did what he needed to do. He got a whack on the eye and has gone home with an ice pack on it,” he added.
You can watch the full interview with the PNE boss and also one with league debutant Chris Maxwell by clicking here and logging on to PNE PlayerHD now.