Ryan Lowe was pleased with the “attitude and desire” of his players to come back from a goal down to take three points at home to Middlesbrough.
Preston North End found themselves behind inside just eight minutes, with Chuba Akpom opening the scoring for the visitors, before Emil Riis levelled the game with a fantastic volley before half-time.
Ryan’s side had a goal chalked off in the second half, with Riis penalised for offside in the build-up to Alan Browne finding the back of the net, but it wasn’t to matter as Jordan Storey headed home to earn victory at Deepdale.
Ryan told iFollow PNE: “It’s always better when you win isn’t it, of course.
“At some point you’re thinking ‘is it going to be a point?’, and you can’t find that extra little bit of quality, but we found a way and I thought the lads were fantastic in doing that.
“To score late on like that by getting the ball in the box and putting it in the mixer [is pleasing], and Jordan’s there to get it in.
“I thought we were a little bit hard done by by the goal that was disallowed. I’ve watched back; it is what it is.
“It’s gone and we’ve found a way to win the game of football which is what we wanted.
“I thought we played some good stuff, especially in the first half. To go a goal down was disappointing, from a set play where we’ve been really solid and resolute.
“There’s probably one or two individual errors in the build up to it, but I can accept that because you see the attitude and desire of the lads to keep going and to try and find that goal, and we scored a fantastic goal in Emil and we found a way towards the end to win it.”
The manager decided to change shape ahead of the visit of Michael Carrick’s men, lining up with a back four from the start for the first time this season.
Álvaro Fernández and Brad Potts were selected as the two full backs, with goalscorer Riis accompanied up top by Ben Woodburn and Robbie Brady on either side of him, in front of a midfield three.
Ryan said: “I’m not gullible enough to think we’re just going to keep playing the same formation and the same shape all season.
“You’ve got to sort of find a way and be adaptable, and I am.
“That is my favourite formation, the 3-5-2 or 3-4-2-1, but I’ve played 4-4-2 before, 4-3-2-1, and we played a 4-3-3 today to get more bodies up the pitch and it certainly worked because I thought we were outstanding.
“We just wanted more bodies at the top end of the pitch, hence why we chose to do that.
“We knew they’d play a similar formation, and we’ve got to be open to these ideas to find solutions of winning games of football.
“We’ve been open to it and we’ve found a way.”
Prior to the game, Ryan had asked both his players and supporters to remain patient and not get too frustrated as the team looked to improve on their form at Deepdale.
He added: “I thought the fans responded well. We said about being patient and I thought they were, because when we go a goal down after eight minutes they could have easily been thinking ‘oh not again’.
“But they stuck with the lads, they were singing them through. Emil scores a good goal and they’re singing his name, and that’s what we need because we need patience.
“We can’t win all the time. The away record’s fantastic by the way – second best in the division – but on the flip side of that we want to make sure we’re winning games at home.
“We know that we need to be better, and I thought we were. There’s been games here where we’ve played well and not taken anything from it.
“Today we’ve played well and took points from it, so I’m pleased.”