Ryan Lowe insisted he was “proud and pleased” with the attitude and application of his players, despite tasting a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup fourth round.
Preston North End gave a good account of themselves in front of a packed-out Deepdale, going into half-time level before the visitors scored three in the second half.
Heung-Min Son netted a brace, before Arnaut Danjuma came off the bench to seal his side’s place in the fifth round.
Speaking after full-time, Ryan said: “I’m really proud and pleased with the boys. I thought their application and attitude was fantastic.
“I’m disappointed with the result but not with the performance.
“We put a gameplan together, went with a flat three in midfield, and we were strong and resolute going into half-time.
“The first half was near-on perfect, it was excellent. I said to the boys, ‘We have to go and do that again’.
“We felt if we could have got to 60 or 70 minutes then maybe we could have been in with a chance.”
Lowe admitted that the gulf in class between the two sides ultimately proved the difference, with the Premier League outfit showing their quality in the second half.
Up until the opener, North End had limited their opponents to very little in front of goal.
Ryan added: “It was a case of two world class finishes from a world class footballer in Son.
“Perhaps we could have got up closer but he bends one into the top corner from 30 yards out.
“The second one maybe they get a little bit of luck but it’s a great finish.
“The third one, Liam Lindsay slips and allows him to get across, and it scuffles into the bottom corner.
“Our lads tried their best to try and create chances and get goals, but ultimately we’ve come up against world class players who had that extra bit of quality.”
Lowe was quick to praise the North End faithful for their vociferous support at Deepdale, with 21,219 in attendance for the FA Cup tie.
“I thought they rallied us on right the way through,” the manager said.
“The atmosphere was brilliant tonight; our fans were different class.
“A big thank you from the players and I because that’s what we need to push on.”
PNE are back at Deepdale this coming Saturday when they host Bristol City in Championship action.
The manager concluded: “We’ve got a full week now to prepare for Bristol City. The players who played tonight will recover and we’ll get a session into the lads who haven’t featured.
“Let’s get back to Championship form, as we had a great win last weekend away at Birmingham City and we want to continue that winning form in the league.”