Jayden Stockley was aware he needed to make an impact coming off the bench as an early substitute in North End’s 3-2 turnaround win against Blackburn Rovers at Deepdale.
With the Lilywhites having trailed by two with barely ten minutes on the clock, manager Alex Neil looked to Stockley to change the game, the striker introduced as a 29th minute subsititute as a replacement for Paul Gallagher.
And the forward proved a menace in a second half which saw PNE score three times to come from behind to win and maintain their unbeaten home form in the league this term, as Stockley told iFollow PNE of his delight to play his part in the victory.
“When you come on in a game like that, your first role is to affect the game – you don’t want to come on and the game carry on in its natural pattern, you want to come on and let people know you’re there and hopefully I did that,” the 26-year-old told the club’s media channel.
“That wasn’t actually happening the first five minutes I was on, I lost a few in the air and needed to come out second half firing and I thought ‘This is my chance’.
“I’ve been patient for it and trying and the gaffer’s looked at me when there was a lot of people raring to get on at that point if called upon and I knew I had to affect the game.”
Stockley admitted words were exchanged in the changing rooms at the interval but felt the intensity the team showed in the early stages of the second half were vital in completing the comeback that followed.
“I think how we reacted in the first ten minutes sort of gives us a foundation going into the second half. It’s a strange feeling you get, you get that sense of belief when you get that first – even before that when you get a few chances.
“I think the crowd can feed off that and in these derby games, it's momentum like that that swings it. They had it in the first half, they won every second ball coming forwards and second half that was us, so it was about making those attacks count. To be fair to [Tom Barkhuizen] Barks, he’s bent one in the top corner at the end so that bit of quality is needed as well.
“I think its just about how we account ourselves on the pitch; people expect the gaffer’s teams to work hard. You look at Tuesday night, we went toe to toe with probably the best team in the league and we wanted to put that into play today, we wanted to start on the front foot.
“We were so disappointed I don’t think he [the manager] needed to say too much, we knew we weren’t at the levels we should have been at. When we went in for the first half, there was a good amount of cheers so it was nice to sense that they still believed because we certainly did in the changing rooms.”
After an intense three-game week, North End how have a little longer to wait until their next outing with a trip to Charlton Athletic next Sunday – a test which Stockley is looking forward to.
“It’s going to be a tough game, they’ve been excellent since they’ve come up, it’s going to be a really exciting game going there, it’s a great place to play football.
“We’re going to be confident, but eager to put away that first half performance today, which wasn’t good enough, and really be on it from the start.”
Watch more Jayden now on iFollow PNE.