After the home defeat to Reading, Ryan Lowe said he is looking for his side to “make things happen”, rather than react to the opposition.
Preston North End fell behind within just two minutes against the Royals and found themselves three down on 55 minutes.
The home side did threaten a late comeback, after goals from Daniel Johnson and Cameron Archer sparked them into life, but they had left themselves too much to do in the end.
Ryan told iFollow PNE: “I said [to the group] ‘don’t wait for things to happen, make it happen’. I said it before the game and that’s what I’m wanting the group to do, make something happen.
“But we never [did today]. We had to wait until they’d done something and then we jumped on and thought ‘okay let’s start playing now’, but it was too late.
“It is frustrating. I said to the group ‘am I asking too much of them?’ in there to keep going and they said no, but if we start like that then we are asking too much because you’re limited.
“Three goals is a tough scoreline to come back from. Give the lads their due for their fighting spirit towards the end to try and get it back, and we just didn’t have enough in the end to get that goal, but in saying that we lost the game in the first half because you’re down 2-0.”
Two goals down after 20 minutes, the manager opted to make a switch in both personnel and formation, as he brought on Liam Lindsay for Brad Potts, changing to a 4-3-3.
Ryan Ledson then came on at half-time and Ched Evans too just eight minutes later, but Reading gave North End an even bigger challenge when they made it three.
On the third goal, Ryan said: “It is a killer, but again we give the ball away 50 yards up the top end of the pitch and they’ve gone up the other end.
“It is a moment of brilliance from them if you like, interchange passing and a side-foot finish into the corner, but we can’t give the ball away too cheaply because you can get punished.
“To find yourself 3-0 down you’re thinking ‘okay, what’s coming next?’ and the lads show the fighting spirit they’ve got.
“They get it back to 3-1, DJ with a fantastic goal, then 3-2 and you’re thinking ‘can they do it again?’. Would it have been harsh on them? Possibly, but it’s what we were trying to do.
“We had a few chances towards the later parts of the game, a few headers flashing across the box, snapshots, and they put their bodies on the line a little bit, but it’s a first half that we can’t ever play again because it was nowhere near the levels [we have reached previously].”
It’s a quick turnaround for the next game, as North End return to action on Tuesday night when Nottingham Forest are the visitors to Deepdale.
Ryan added: “What we’ve got to do now is put that to bed quickly. Tomorrow afternoon we’ll be in, we’ll recover, we’ll debrief the game.
“There’ll be a few harsh words but constructive words so everyone learns, everyone knows, and then we’ll move on because we have to be better against Nottingham Forest certainly, and that’ll be the aim to make sure we put the wrongs right on Tuesday night.”
Hear more from the gaffer in his full interview on iFollow PNE.