Ben Whiteman spoke of a ‘disappointing day for everyone’ after Preston North End were beaten 4-2 in the West Lancashire Derby at Bloomfield Road.
Whiteman levelled matters from the penalty spot to cancel out Jerry Yates’ opener and see PNE go in level at the break, but the hosts pulled clear after Charlie Patino made it 2-1, with Ched Evans’ late effort not enough to get the Lilywhites back in it.
The midfielder felt that North End were the better side on the Fylde coast, but said the result was one he and his team-mates had to ‘take on the chin’.
“I thought we were the better side after we scored, I didn’t think there was much in it, even when they scored in the game, but I thought we were the better side.
“And then their second goal is obviously a killer, then the third one goes in and it’s obviously trying to get a couple back but we’ve given ourselves a mountain to climb, it was too big today.
“We got ourselves back in the game. Again, today I thought we were the better side, especially after we scored. Goals change games, especially in a derby. It’s a massively disappointing day.
“The last one is on the counter, we’ve tried to nick a draw obviously with the corner with Fred going up. A very disappointing day and one that we have to take on the chin.”
Evans’ 89th-minute goal threatened to bring North End back into it as he made it 3-2, but after the visitors piled men forward – including goalkeeper Freddie Woodman – from a corner in stoppage-time, CJ Hamilton dealt a blow on the counter to reinstate the two-goal winning margin.
“You are looking for something to get you back into the game, so that second goal, the momentum is with us again
“You have a corner, you throw everything at it, and they go up the other end and score. A very disappointing day, it was never a 4-2 game, but it is what it is.
“It’s a very disappointing day for everyone associated to the football club, one that we need to put right when they come to our place.”
The Lilywhites now look ahead to Middlesbrough’s visit to Deepdale next weekend, and while Whiteman admitted it would be difficult to recover from their derby disappointment, he suggested a free midweek would be beneficial after a gruelling schedule of late.
“I think it’s massively important,” he said of the clear midweek period. “Obviously, the amount of games that have come thick and fast, it’s obviously just about recovery and getting yourself right for the next game.
“We’ll have a free week, a lot of training, a lot of hard days going into week so hopefully we can pick up a result next week.
“A disappointing day for everyone associated to the football club so it’s going to take a while to get over but we have to do that and prepare for the game next week.”
Watch more from Whiteman on iFollow PNE.