Jayden Stockley says the Preston North End squad still believe that they can seal a Play-Off spot in the SkyBet Championship after their first win following the season’s resumption at Hillsborough saw them close the gap on the top six to three points.
After a dominant first half, the Lilywhites harshly went a goal down to Jacob Murphy’s strike just before the hour mark in Yorkshire – but Stockley was one of three substitutes to score in the final 12 minutes to seal a dramatic 3-1 comeback victory.
North End’s No.20 admitted that he and his team-mates have been disappointed by their four-match winless run since the season’s restart last month, but told iFollow PNE that confidence remains among the squad that they can finish the campaign on a high.
“We’ve had a poor run by our standards,” confessed the 26-year-old. “When we’re playing that well and then we go and concede the first goal, inevitably that will take a bit of wind out of our sails.
“But the gaffer, that’s why he’s got such a good, tight-knit group here and the squad that we’ve got that players believe that they can come on and change the game and we don’t think that we’re out of it. I know that results haven’t gone our way recently but the belief is still there, we’re desperate to succeed, each and every one of us, and do the club proud.
“Every game since we’ve been back, we’ve been going to win, we’ve been going to get the three points from games, whereas sometimes we could get a draw, we’re in that time of the season where the three points is the most important thing.
“It worked very well and I think that was down to the determination, especially to defend at the end, and to maintain and keep our three points.”
Having entered the fray alongside Scott Sinclair moments before, Stockley’s impact was immediate to set-up his fellow arrival’s equalising goal, before netting the crucial goal ten minutes later to put the visitors ahead – with Brad Potts sealing the win in stoppage time.
“It was one of those nights where everything seems to come off for you,” he continued.
“We had a very good game, first half especially, I thought we were absolutely brilliant and created some great chances. I’m delighted to come on and make an impact from the bench, which is something I need to add to my game more.
“It was great, I thought we got the difference from going long and short, we got it spot on, especially when I come on and you’ve almost got to change your tactics slightly, but we done it brilliantly.
“Davo [Ben Davies] played a great ball for me for the first goal and Scotty’s timing of his run was brilliant and the execution of the finish was so calm and that’s what he’s brought to this team.
“I was desperate for DJ [Daniel Johnson] to play it to me [for the second goal] because I had it lined up in my head that I was going to shoot straight away.”
Stockley is sure that the evident team spirit in the Lilywhites camp can only be beneficial as they look to build momentum from tonight’s win and embark on what would be a vital run of end-of-season form.
“We feed off our success, each and every single person that is out there and does well, we just feed off it and we’re a team that has gone on some big runs in the past and it’s going to need another one now, it’s going to need the togetherness of the group to really progress and try to nick that spot because we are the ones chasing now and that could suit us in this run.
“You saw the celebrations at the end, we definitely believe something can happen and there’s no way that we’re giving it up yet.
“Timing is so key in these things – momentum, form, everything goes into these last few things and you’ve so many sides just sneak in on that last day or not. But we believe if we put a run together that will be enough, every team’s probably saying it at the moment with a lot of frustration as no team can get a run together, but we believe we can be that team.”
Watch more from Jayden on iFollow PNE.