Callum Havard felt Preston North End U19s’ slow start was a big reason as to why they fell to a 3-2 defeat against Morecambe.
Havard scored in the first half to equalise for North End with a beauty of a curling effort.
Rio Pemberton pulled a goal back late on after two Morecambe goals, but it wasn’t enough to help North End secure any points from the game.
The opening tie of 2023 marked Havard’s first start of the season, but he was left disappointed with the outcome of the game.
“It was a disappointing way to come back after the Christmas break,” said Havard.
“We had a slow start. We played into their hands and played into their strengths completely.
“We just weren’t up to it physically as a team.
“That drive and passion to win the game just wasn’t there and that’s ultimately why we came up short.”
North End were on a six-game unbeaten run before the match and Havard believes they may have been a bit too complacent.
“Before Christmas we had a good run of games and the spirits were high,” he continued.
“I think we had the mindset that we were better and that we will beat them, but it’s football and it’s never that easy."
Havard’s goal in this game was his first for the U19s and the forward was “over the moon to score a goal”.
“It felt good to score after a season where I have so far struggled with injury,” stated Havard.
“My job is to score goals. I’ve worked hard in training to get the start in this game and I did.
“Hopefully I will be able to score more for the team.
“I always feel like I’m improving. I’ve definitely felt the step up playing with the quality of players in this team, and they are only going to make me better.”