Making his first start since mid-November, Robbie Brady said he felt “strong” in the 2-1 victory over Birmingham City.
The Irishman has been missing through injury since that point, making only cameo appearances off the bench in the past two games.
He had a part to play in Ryan Ledson’s early opener in the Midlands, sending a cross from his left wing back position into the area, and the ball eventually fell to PNE’s No.18 who struck a brilliant effort into the bottom corner.
Robbie then registered an assist five minutes later when Alan Browne flicked his corner in at the near post.
North End couldn’t quite hold on to the clean sheet, as Lukas Jutkiewicz scored late, but it wasn’t to have any influence on the outcome of the game.
Speaking to iFollow, Robbie said: “I’m buzzing with it. I’m delighted to get back out there first and foremost, and to get the 90 [minutes] in is nice.
“I felt good; I felt strong throughout the game.
“It was a battle, especially in the second half. It was good to get the two goals to get the lead and they’re good at what they showed in the second half of the game, but I think sometimes these games are more valuable than if we went and scored another one and seeing it off at 3-0.
“It shows good character. It shows what we’re about and it shows what fight we’re going to need if we want to have a right push.
“All in all, it was a big performance.”
It was a fantastic start to the game by the away side in red and black, and what a goal it was that put them ahead.
Ledson, with his first of the season, hit the ball perfectly from 20 yards with his left foot, giving goalkeeper John Ruddy no chance.
“It's a great goal from Ledo,” added Robbie. “I’m buzzing for him.
“He doesn’t get many, but he’s one ahead of me now at the minute!
“I’m delighted for Ledo, it was a great goal, and then Browney puts the second one in to give us a little bit of a cushion.
“We held on strong. It's a bit of a sloppy goal [to concede], but we’ll have a look at it and put it right again.”
While the first half was something of a dominant performance, it wasn’t quite that way in the second half.
The home side saw more of the ball and had the better of the chances – putting plenty of balls into the box towards the end of the game – but, apart from the header conceded, they stood up to the task.
Robbie added: “I think [it’s important] when you see out a game like that in the fashion we did.
“They threw everything at it in the last 15 or 20 minutes, but we were big enough to stand up to it, and, like I said, it’s a big performance that we can take a lot from.”