Youth team midfielder Josh Pollard felt it was only for some fine margins that the young Lilywhites side failed to beat Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday afternoon – instead being held to a 2-2 draw.
North End looked to be on course for victory after Cameron Day and Ethan Walker – Pollard grabbing the assist for the latter’s effort – overturned Carl Spellman’s opener, but the Tranmere midfielder scored again six minutes from time to earn his side a point.
Pollard said it was just a case of improving the end product in the final third to secure more wins but said he and his teammates are growing in confidence nonetheless.
“We started well and carried that through the whole game and dominated,” the 17-year-old told PNE.com. “We had all the possession and most of the shots, it seemed like they only had two shots and they got two goals. It feels like a loss in that sense but we need to learn how to win games.
“I think we bounced back well from going behind. We get a bit of luck with our first goal after it goes through the ‘keeper’s arms from a set-piece. The second goal comes from good play, I played it through for Ethan on the diagonal and he cut in and did well to score. It’s good to get an assist and hopefully I can add to that.
“We moved the ball well, we moved it quickly with one and two touches. I don’t think they could deal with that passing, it was that end product that was missing really and we need to find a way to get that right so we can score more goals and win more games.
“It’s just finding that last pass, it’s those fine margins really just to put the ball in the back of the net, whether it’s about making the right pass, having the detail on the pass or getting a shot off that’s just out of the ‘keeper’s reach so it goes in the back of the net.”
The first-year scholar also felt that more understandings are beginning to form and develop on the pitch, with the North End side having featured plenty of first-year scholars and U16s in recent weeks.
“It shows how strong our squad is with some lads stepping up from the U16s. That’s working for us but we need to find a way to win games now and take more chances and score more goals at the top end of the pitch.
“It helps going into next season, we can build relationships on the pitch and continue growing together so we can become stronger and stronger to win the games. It’s important we recover right because we have games on Tuesday and Saturday for the next few weeks, so it’s important that the boys rest well, go onto the next game and hopefully we can start winning more matches.
“I think my game’s improving, I’ve started a lot more for the youth team recently and have played in a reserve game as well, which is a lot more intense and much quicker, but I try to bring that into the U18s games and it helps me as a player.
“My confidence is growing and the lads are becoming confident, it’s just about winning games now.”