Daniel Johnson felt Preston North End were the better side for most of their FA Cup third round clash against Cardiff City but was left frustrated as they ‘couldn’t get over the line’ and exited the competition with a 2-1 defeat after extra-time in South Wales.
After Isaak Davies had opened the scoring for the hosts late in the first half – following an impressive start from the Lilywhites – Johnson equalised from the penalty spot soon after the second half restart, which ultimately took the game to extra-time.
Despite the Lilywhites being on top for much of the contest, it was Mark Harris’ goal four minutes from the end of extra-time that won it for the Bluebirds, with Johnson disappointed having felt that the visitors could have gone on to get another goal following his leveller.
He told iFollow PNE: “You set up and go and try to win every game possible. I thought we played some really, really good stuff today. It’s just of them things. Either team could have scored really.
“The longer the game went on, it just looked like no one was going to score and it was probably going to go to penalties. We obviously made a mistake and they capitalised.
“I think for large spells of the game we were the better team. I think as the game’s going on, it felt like we were going to go and get another goal.
That wasn’t the case and obviously you tire, fatigue. It is what it is at the end of the day. The positive side of it is we’ve not lost any points today.
“That was the game plan, to frustrate them, because we knew that they drop into a back five and flat three. The game plan was to try to frustrate them for long spells of the game and I thought we did that, but obviously we couldn’t get over the line today.”
The No.11 was pleased to get on the scoresheet on an individual note but would have swapped it for progression in the competition and what could have been a fourth round trip to Liverpool at Anfield – a journey which Cardiff will now make instead.
“It would have been a nice day out, for the players, for the whole club, for the fans, it would have been a nice day out to go down to Anfield and anything can happen. It would have been nice to go down there and play against one of the best teams in the world.
“I think on a personal level, yeah, it’s another goal for me, but I would have liked to have got the win today and go and play Liverpool at Anfield. That’s not been the case today so we’ve just got to put that to bed and focus on Saturday.”
DJ feels the new style of play being implemented under Ryan Lowe suits North End well, and while it was defeat this afternoon in the FA Cup, positives can be taken from the display.
“For large spells of the game today we were the better team. We’ve conceded two goals today from mistakes.
“Recently since the manager has come in, we’ve changed the style of play and I think it’s working for us, getting a lot more of the ball. It’s just about us being more patient when we’ve got the ball and keep creating opportunities because we are going to score more goals.
“Every manager has got their own style. He’s implemented it on us. It’s just about us going out and executing it.”
The midfielder was disappointed the game could not be played in front of fans, but looking ahead to a game back in front of spectators next weekend, is hoping to use the positive aspects of today’s display in search of a better result next time out.
He added: “It just felt like an in-house game. Football is about fans. We’ve just got to put that behind us now and obviously it’s a home game next game, we’ve got to go and put them to bed and get three points.
“We can take some positives from our performance because I thought we were the better team on the day. They come out on top and get the win, but for large spells of the game, we were the better team, we did frustrate them with the ball.
“It’s just about taking them positives into the next game and putting the game to bed as early as possible.”
Watch more from DJ on iFollow PNE.