Ryan Lowe was left frustrated after what he felt was his side’s first disappointing performance of the season, in a goalless draw against Cardiff City.
While Preston North End claimed a sixth clean sheet of the campaign, the visitors to South Wales failed to register a shot on target at the other end.
“I don’t think we deserved to win the game if I’m being honest,” said Ryan. “I thought Cardiff were fantastic in everything they did.
“For us to go about our business, it wasn’t quite what we wanted. We didn’t play enough football, didn’t get the ball in behind enough, didn’t create enough chances, no shots on target, so I’m disappointed.
“But in saying that, you come to Cardiff, who are a different animal this year playing the right way, to not concede I thought the defenders and three centre backs were fantastic, and Freddie [Woodman].
“So fair play to them, but at the top end of the pitch we need to be a bit more ruthless now.”
The hosts saw plenty of the play early on and were creating chances, often firing high or wide from long distance, while there were also bodies being thrown at the ball by North End.
With things not going PNE’s way, the manager opted to make an early change, turning to his bench and bringing on Emil Riis in place of Daniel Johnson.
Ryan explained: “It was tactical. DJ’s been fantastic for us, and sometimes as a manager you have to make those calls.
“I felt we couldn’t get up the pitch so we brought Emil on to get us up the pitch.
“It worked a little bit better, we worked the ball up there and it stuck a little bit, but we still didn’t create many chances.
“It’s not just DJ’s fault, it’s a decision I’ve had to make to get another striker on the pitch.
“I said to the group at half-time ‘you need to go and perform a little bit better and raise it a bit more’, but saying that, I thought Cardiff were fantastic in everything they did, so we were definitely second best today.”
As much as there’s frustration up front, records continue to be set at the back, with a sixth consecutive clean sheet marking the most any PNE side have begun a league campaign with.
“I’m made up for Fred and the defenders because that’s what you set out to do as a goalkeeper,” added Ryan.
“We need to make sure at the top end of the pitch that we start producing because we can’t keep coming and doing the same things, and saying the same things: the defence was resolute, solid, brilliant.
“And then the top end’s not giving us nothing, albeit it’s only the first game we haven’t had much in terms of creating chances and shots on target.
“That’s something we’ll have to look at. We’ll debrief the game on the way home today and we’ll debrief with the players on Monday, and we’ll pick the nitty gritty bits of what’s not good, and what is good, and we’ll try and make sure we’re better next time.”
Watch the manager's interview in full on iFollow PNE.