Andrew Hughes was pleased to mark his return from injury with an emphatic win as Preston North End defeated Middlesbrough 3-0 at Deepdale.
The Lilywhites controlled the play for much of the contest but it wasn’t until just after the hour when Hughes’ shot from the edge of the box was turned home by Brad Potts for the opener, with Scott Sinclair and Emil Riis extending the winning margin late on.
Having been absent through injury since welcoming Birmingham City to Deepdale at the end of October, Hughes was pleased to be back involved while earning a positive result to boot.
“I’m just happy for the lads to get the three points and move on to the weekend,” the Welshman told iFollow PNE.
“I didn’t really expect to play this soon and to play what I did, I’m more than happy. I’ve felt a bit tired towards the end. But I’m just more than happy just to get the win.”
The opening goal initially looked as it belonged to Hughes, and while subsequent replays showed it was his team-mate Potts who got the final touch, the 28-year-old was not concerned by the identity of the goalscorer – but rather, the final result.
“I don’t care how it goes in, if it goes in, they all count so I’m happy for Brad to take it,” he added.
“It was nice to see us scoring from open play today. I’m just happy to get the three points and to be involved again.”
The defender also pointed out the impact of the substitutes with late introduction Emil Riis rounding off the scoring seven minutes from time, almost immediately after Scott Sinclair had doubled the hosts’ lead.
“The gaffer said in the changing rooms after that the lads that came on made a real impact, which they did, so it’s all positive.
“His [Scott Sinclair’s] goal record speaks for itself, he knows where the net is and long may it continue. And hopefully, we can get Emil to kick on now on the goal front.”
Next up for Alex Neil’s men is a trip to Luton Town on Saturday, in a repeat of the Lilywhites’ first post-lockdown game at Kenilworth Road back in June.
“We go into every game hoping to play well and get a good win. We’ll go into the next game against Luton and try to do it all over again.
“The gaffer and the backroom staff will do their research on Luton. We already know what they do anyway, and we’ll be fully prepared for that game.”
Watch Hughesy’s post-match thoughts in full on iFollow PNE.