Ryan Lowe was pleased to see his Preston North End side come out on top against Coventry City in what he described as a "great game of football" between the two sides at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
Emil Riis came off the bench in the second half to score just shy of a quarter of an hour from time, with both sides having had chances to score before that point in an entertaining clash.
North End had played out three goalless draws since their last league goal, courtesy of Brad Potts at Luton Town just over a fortnight ago, but it was the performance against the Sky Blues that was as pleasing as anything for the manager on Wednesday evening.
He told iFollow PNE: “Everyone’s saying we’re delighted with the goal, and of course we are, but the performance was fantastic. The changes were made to freshen things up and you’ve got lads coming in, quality. I thought every single one of the lads who come on the pitch was fantastic today.
“I thought it was a great game of football between two good teams. It was end-to-end. They dominated some large parts of possession, so did we. I thought the boys were fantastic in everything they’ve done, everything we asked them to do, they’ve done.
“Every single one of them to a man today was fantastic. I’m really pleased with the performance and obviously we’re really pleased with the three points and a goal.
“I thought we could have finished it off towards the end there, a few tired legs, especially Troy [Parrott] going through, the kid’s made a good block. Overall, pleased with the performance, fantastic.”
Riis’ impact from the bench was felt with the winning goal and the gaffer spoke in detail about the frontman in his post-match interview.
“I’d made my mind up to play Ched [Evans] the day before,” he continued. “Me and Emil have had conversations the last few days and he’s come to me and told me now but I’d already made my mind up in terms of the squad and the team.
“He knows where he wants to be now and I’ve told him if he continues to be that and stay and work hard, he’ll score another 20 goals. He knows what we’re about, I know what he’s about, we definitely don’t want to lose him and he knows that, but when you’re a good player, you get speculation about you.
“We’ve made a choice to keep him and he’s now made a choice to get his head down and work hard for Preston North End and I’m pleased he’s doing it.”
Both Emil and strike partner Parrott had further opportunities to score following the game’s solitary goal and Ryan was pleased with his side’s chance creation in the contest.
“I’m happy with the chances, I don’t know how many it was, ten or 11, four or five on target. I’ve always said all along that my team will create loads of chances, and plenty of chances and opportunities to score goals, and we’ve done that again tonight.
“Fair play to the group, they’ve been fantastic and it’s a bit down sometimes when you’re not scoring goals and the lads can take get a bit deflated from it. But I’ve said they have to keep going, keep believing that you’re going to score goals and they’re certainly doing that.”
It has been another busy midweek period for the gaffer, who also watched over Birmingham City's clash against Norwich City last night ahead of the Blues' visit to Deepdale this weekend.
“We’ll be in tomorrow to recover because we’ve got a game on Saturday again against Birmingham. I was there watching them last night and seeing how they play.
“They’ve got some good players and a new manager [John Eustace] who’s trying to do it the right way, so we know it’s going to be a tough encounter, but all games are in this league. There’s no ‘gimmes’ or easy games, we’ve got to put that to bed, enjoy the moment and enjoy the three points, and then go again because it’s relentless.”
Watch more from Ryan on iFollow PNE.