Defender Paul Huntington was pleased with the character shown by the Preston North End players in the 3-1 turnaround victory against Bolton Wanderers.
The Lilywhites went behind against the run of the play early in the first-half but three goals after the interval secured a memorable Gentry Day victory for Alex Neil’s side.
Huntington felt North End were the dominant side for most of the contest and after some frustration at half-time with PNE trailing, the 30-year-old admitted it was pleasing to see Sean Maguire’s second-half brace complete the team’s comeback, following Tom Barkhuizen’s equaliser.
“We’re just pleased, pleased for the lads and pleased for the staff and obviously, it’s a big day for the fans so we’re just pleased that we could send them home happy,” the defender told PNE.com.
“We were thinking in the first-half, although they scored first, that we should have been 3-1 up at half-time with the chances that we’ve had, but we kept going and it was great character from the lads and we’re obviously delighted that Seani [Maguire] is back.
“He’s a top player and he does what he does and obviously we’ve missed him. He and Josh Harrop came off the bench and had a real good impact so we’re delighted with the three points because the manager was saying that Bolton haven’t lost at home since September.
“The reaction was really good because in this league, it’s not easy to come from a goal behind away from home. Their fans were up and we knew what was at stake, it’s a local derby but we managed to win here a couple of years ago on Gentry Day, so it’s nice to keep that run going.
“Obviously, the feeling when the second and third goals went in was great. I joined in myself with the second goal and put one of the Gentry hats on and celebrated with the fans! It was good fun really and we’re pleased to send them home happy. It keeps us in around the play-offs and we’ve got another couple of important games going into next week now.”
Huntington was happy to see North End convert their chances into goals, keeping the side in the promotion mix with just three points separating them from the play-off places, the defender suggesting the Lilywhites have often performed well in other matches without winning.
“We’ve had a lot of draws in games we should have won, there’s probably six or seven games that we should have won where we’ve dominated and missed chances and we come away wondering how we haven’t won.
“Billy Bodin went through one-on-one and so has Callum [Robinson] I think and we had another great chance first-half, so we’ve shown that we can get in there, it’s just taking those chances when they come and that’s the difference.
“They’ve had one chance first-half and another half chance off a set play but other than that, I think we’ve dominated the game, so you couldn’t say we didn’t deserve our win today.
“Credit to the lads and the staff, we had a good chat at half-time with the manager and it was just frustration that we hadn’t took those earlier chances. We just wanted a little more from the forward players and in the second-half, they’ve delivered so we’re really happy about that.”
Huntington is now looking ahead to an important week for North End as fellow promotion chasers Bristol City visit Deepdale on Tuesday as well as Fulham making the trip to PR1 next Saturday.
“There was a bit of gap after Middlesbrough and Sheffield United had won their last games but we just knew we had to concentrate on ourselves. We just knew we had to get back to winning games and we’ve managed to do that today, so we’re really pleased.
“We want to win as many games as we can, we’ve only got eleven left now which isn’t a lot, so hopefully we can just win as many as we can. We’re delighted for the fans and to get the bragging rights, so that will be nice for them going into work on Monday.
“We’ve got a warm down on Sunday, we will be training again on Monday and the focus turns to Bristol City on Tuesday, another important game so it’s one to look forward to.
“We’re really proud of the lads today because of the way we reacted and showing that really good character.”