Ched Evans was pleased to get off the mark in a PNE shirt, but was ultimately disappointed his new side weren’t more efficient at both ends of the pitch.
Evans’ first goal for the club in the 65th minute reduced the deficit to one, after Joe Rafferty’s early own goal and Ben Wiles’ second half strike put Rotherham United two ahead.
North End certainly had their chances at Deepdale, with Tom Barkhuizen and Ben Whiteman both coming close for the home side, and PNE’s new No.26 was left ruing the missed opportunities and mistakes which led to the goals.
Ched told iFollow PNE: “I think if you look at the result it was disappointing on our behalf. I think we conceded two sloppy goals.
“The goal in the first half after 15 seconds killed us, but I think if you look at the chances created, another day it could have been four or five for us. Obviously that didn’t happen, which is disappointing.
“Although it was nice for me to get a goal, I would have rather had the three points today.”
It was a poor start to the game from North End’s perspective, as Rotherham scored within 17 seconds of kick-off, with a deflected effort being inadvertently headed into the back of his own net by Rafferty.
Alex Neil’s side pushed for an equaliser in the late stages and on another day could have been given the opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot, as Evans appeared to be brought down in the box, but nothing was given.
Ched said: “It looked like it was going to be one of those days from the start, as soon as that goal went in in the first 15 seconds, it was bizarre. But I think looking at the game and chances created and stuff like that, we kept them pretty quiet overall.
“I feel like the tackle on me at the end was definitely a penalty, but you’re not always going to get them. For us as a team, being a bit more clinical in that final third is important and especially if we’re going to start turning games like that into wins, we need to be more efficient up the pitch and obviously stop the sloppy goals, but that comes as a team.”
Following Saturday’s defeat to Rotherham, PNE have almost a full week of preparation ahead of their next fixture, which comes on Friday evening against Blackburn Rovers, and Evans is pleased to have a full week to allow the new signings to gel.
“It’s a massive week. I think as a club with transition period and losing a player like Ben Davies, who was of massive importance for us.
“We’ll take time to adjust, it’ll take time for the lads to get to know each other and how they play and their strengths and their weaknesses.
“We’ve got a full week now and I’m sure the manager understands how the work on the training ground will be done to support that. For my first game, it was good for me personally to get 90 minutes in and understand how the other lads play and what they like to do. It’s a full week and we’re looking forward to it.”
Prior to the game, it was announced that Evans’ initial loan deal from Fleetwood Town was turned permanent until the end of the season.
He added: “I think obviously you take today’s game, most people will see what I’m about, I like getting stuck in and putting myself about and getting the lads up the pitch, being that target man but also getting the goals as well. But really pleased to get the deal done. For me, it’s just having a good six months now and then reassessing in the summer.”
Watch Ched’s full interview on iFollow PNE by clicking on the video at the top of the page.