Ryan Lowe said his Preston North End side were well-worthy of all three points as they claimed a 1-0 win against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The manager was pleased with the way the Lilywhites bounced back from successive losses to Bristol City and Stoke City, as Greg Cunningham’s towering 50th-minute header proved enough for the victory in West Yorkshire.
Speaking to iFollow PNE after the game, Ryan paid tribute to the mentality of his squad.
“I said to the lads in there that tough times don’t last, but tough people do, and we’ve got a tough group in there.
“When you go from the top of the world, beating two fantastic teams in West Brom and Norwich, and then you come away and you’ve lost against Bristol City in the week we had and then Stoke, to come here and put on a performance the way we did today I thought was fantastic.
“We can’t get too carried away, we never get too high and never get too low – I’ve said that all the time – but I thought the performance was well worthy of a couple more goals. Alvaro’s one at the end there, if he puts that in, we go and get another.
“At the end of the day, for us, it’s about winning games of football, however way they come. I thought we dominated the game from start to finish more or less, they had a few bits of moments, of course, but I thought we were fantastic and overall well-worthy of the three points.”
Goalscorer Cunningham was one of four changes to the side that lost to Stoke City at the weekend, with the Irishman not only providing the decisive goal, but starring at the heart of a back three, too.
“He was immense,” Ryan continued. “I spoke to Greg on Monday and asked him whether he’d ever played the middle of the three. Bambo [Diaby] obviously played his first full 90 minutes and we have to be careful because he hasn’t played many games.
"I thought Greg could get us ticking, get us playing, and he was fantastic. I said to him, ‘You’re going to play in there, you’re like Franco Baresi,’ in the patterns of play when we were working. He said we’d see after the game.
“He was solid, he got his goal, and he played right out as much as we needed to, the right times, turned at the right times and for him to get his just reward with a header was fantastic.
“Greg has been top drawer since we’ve come through the door. He finds himself in the team, out the team. I call him Benjamin Button, he says he’s never too old and he’s not, when he gets that consistency of games.”
The manager feels there is unity among him, his players and the fanbase, and hopes that will continue to build.
“I know they get disappointed at times and so do I. But ultimately, we’re in it together, we want to try to achieve something.
“I probably get too carried away in expectations, probably my bad, because I’m wanting to go again, but when you see where you are in the league and what you’re trying to do and the teams in the league, there’s no-one really running away with it.
“We’ve got to be solid and do what we need to do in terms of following the game plan and working our way. The players deserve all the credit as well because it’s us together. The fans want to stick with us like they have done, especially the away fans, they’ve been brilliant, and seeing the performances and the results, fantastic.
“But we are going to go through dips, but it’s pleasing when they all come like that, singing in their numbers, and we can send them home happy.”
The win sets North End up nicely heading into this weekend’s Lancashire derby, as attentions turn to Bloomfield Road.
Our opponents on Saturday lunchtime are still to host Hull City on Wednesday before the week is out, but Ryan admitted that his focus has already shifted to that huge encounter.
“They’ve got a game tomorrow and we’ll have eyes on that. All the tactics and everything else goes out of the window, it’s a derby, especially when you’re playing your neighbours.
“We’ll put a game plan together, but whatever group of players I pick to go out and try to get what we deserve and what the fans deserve and want, that’s what we’ll be putting together.”
Watch Ryan’s full post-match interview on iFollow PNE.