Manager Simon Grayson didn’t pull any punches after watching his side lose their first league game of 2017 at the Cardiff City Stadium.
“It was disappointing,” admitted the gaffer after the game. “When you give a side a two-goal start you are going to give yourselves an uphill task. We really didn’t play with any tempo, we didn’t stop the opposition from playing and we gave two easy goals to them, so overall it was a very comfortable night for Cardiff.
“As we have said over the last few weeks and months, we have been solid, we have stopped the opposition from playing and when we’ve had the ball we have been effective, but the build-up play was too slow at times, too many players were taking liberties and too many touches on the ball, but ultimately we didn’t stop them from playing.
“Both goals were avoidable.
“We had enough people around for both goals to stop the situations developing. For the second goal someone has to take a booking. You saw the Cardiff lad when Ben Pearson is running through in the second half, the lad pulls him down and gets a yellow card, but we never had a tackle in us all game and that has not been like us.
“We were off the pace and you know that when you face a Neil Warnock team – as we spoke about in the press before the game – you have to match their work-rate, their endeavour and their determination and not enough of our players won their individual battles, which was disappointing from us tonight.”
One positive for the PNE chief was the performance of new signing Tyias Browning, who only met his team-mates just before leaving for the Welsh capital on Monday.
“I thought Tyias Browning had a real solid debut and Daryl Horgan worked hard and created things and Jordan Hugill worked hard up front, but after that there weren’t too many people who will wake up in the morning and think I have had a decent night against my opponent,” he continued.
“We are disappointed for all the fans who have travelled all the way down here and we now need to dust ourselves down and get ready for Saturday.”
The best chances for the visitors came in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, but Simon said that his team have to get back to starting games on the front foot.
“At half-time we said to them that we needed to play with a tempo with and without the ball, because, with no disrespect to Cardiff, they didn’t have to do a lot to win that game.
“They didn’t play that well, but we allowed them to get two easy goals and then had possession without asking questions of the opposition.
“We started better in the second half, but you can’t keep on giving yourself uphill tasks by being 2-0 down away from home at difficult places,” he added.