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First Team News

Tom Clarke: "We Need To Start Better"

28 January 2017

Skipper Tom Clarke bemoaned North End's start to the game after PNE shared the spoils with Ipswich Town this afternoon.

The Lilywhites got off on the back foot when Tom Lawrence found the net with a terrific finish in the top corner on 16 minutes.

North End were a shadow of themselves in the first half compared to the last home game against Brighton a fortnight ago, but managed to find their rhythm in the second stanza, with both Robinson and McGeady threatening to level the scores early in the second-half.

It looked like it was going to be one of those games for a North End perspective, only for Jordan Hugill to pop up in the 89th minute to earn North End the point they at least deserved. 

"We knew before the game it was going to be a difficult game as Mick McCarthy's sides are always difficult to play against," told Clarke to the club's official media channel after the game.

"The first-half we weren't at our best, we didn't get the ball down enough and play which is disappointing but I felt we were still in the game.

"Their goal is unstoppable," added Clarke. "We'll look back at it and yes we probably should have done more to stop it initially but it was a great strike from the lad.

"We had a few chances and they put their bodies on the line and we didn't get the goal earlier but I thought we started the brighter until their goal. It was good to get the goal but it's just a shame we couldn't get it earlier."

Clarke continued to add that despite not losing the game, he admitted that North End need to start games better, after coming back from similar circumstances last weekend in the 2-2 draw to Villa

The skipper continued: "We knew they had a threat with the pace they had but we felt that we were on top during the game because we were creating lots of chances. They put their bodies on the line and had a couple off the line. If the game was on for another ten minutes we would have won.

"It was the same at Villa where we started slow and we need to do better at that. Second-half we did well there and it was the same here but we need to start a lot better and create more chances and not leave it as late as we have done."

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