Callum Robinson felt PNE could take plenty of heart from tonight’s narrow defeat to Arsenal.
The Gunners turned the tables in the second-half with goals either side of the second-half seeing the Premier League side into the next round of the draw, but Robinson believed he and his teammates have nothing to be ashamed of after pushing Arsene Wenger’s side all the way.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game and then when you see the team they put out, that’s a lot of respect to us,” said Robinson who spoke to the club website after the full-time whistle.
“We started brightly and had a fair few chances ourselves and if we’d had put some of those away going into the second-half, it would have been nearly game over.
“But we never took them and then obviously they got a really early goal that sort of killed us and knocked us back, but we still stayed strong throughout the game considering the quality that they have got.
“Then, they just got that lucky kind of goal at the end. We've just got to take the positives from that game as Arsenal are a very strong team and we've just got to bring that into the league now.”
Robinson continued to draw further positives from tonight’s defeat by stating that the Lilywhites can use the performance of this evening going into another game at Deepdale next weekend where Brighton are the visitors.
“It’s another big team in Brighton and then we have Aston Villa so we can take heart from tonight going into these games,” continued the PNE man.
“We want to be testing ourselves and showing people that we can beat these teams and we've already done that this season.
“Tonight, we've done really well and shown that we can handle ourselves against a top four, top six Premier League side so we've just got to take the positives from this game.”
This evening’s game will live long in the memory for Robinson, who sparked the Deepdale home crowd into ecstasy when he found the net early in the first-half, and it was a moment that Robinson rated as his best so far.
“It's a big moment for me, probably the biggest moment so far of my career to score against Arsenal. I was really happy to get the start and then obviously to knock one in was really enjoyable.
“I really enjoyed the experience and the lads did really well, individually and collectively and I think in the end we definitely deserved a draw.
"But it is what it is and we just have to move on with a positive thought from the game.
“It just shows how far we've come now and the other day with the late winner against Sheffield Wednesday, normally we would have been happy with a point, but now we want to win these games. So yes, it's very disappointing but we can take heart from that.”
On the sell-out crowd, Robinson added: “The fans were great tonight, they were right behind us and that gives us a lift.
“They were patient with us when they knew we couldn't win every ball and when we were defending well and making our clearances and when we were attacking they were with us all the way through.”