Manager Ryan Lowe felt his side were “excellent” in the first half of the goalless draw against Fleetwood Town, with a breakthrough the only thing missing.
North End were the side on top during the first 45 minutes at Highbury and, were it not for impressive defensive blocks, the Lilywhites could easily have been ahead at the break.
Brad Potts, Mads Frøkjær and Will Keane were among those who came close to giving their side the lead, before seven changes were then made at half-time.
Chances were much harder to come by for both teams in the second period, with the two talking points of the half being red cards for both sides.
The manager said: “In terms of the football I thought first half we were excellent.
“I thought we worked the ball from one side to the other. The one thing we were missing was a goal but we had some chances.
“Mads had a couple of chances blocked. Layton [Stewart] had a chance but took his eye off the ball and didn’t take a touch beforehand.
“We obviously changed the second half team. We were just happy to get two teams in today and just get them through unscathed really because I’ll be a happy man after Saturday teatime when we come away with hopefully no injuries, touchwood, and then we can concentrate the full week on Bristol City.”
Alan Browne and Ali McCann were both left out of the squad at Highbury as a “precaution”, while the likes of Calvin Ramsay and Duane Holmes used the opportunity to get closer to full fitness ahead of that Championship opener.
Hoping for as many players to be available for selection as possible at Ashton Gate, the manager is also looking to add new faces to the squad before the curtain raises for the new campaign.
Ryan laughed: “I love not being on social media, I don’t get bombarded!
“We’re on with stuff,. We need a couple more in the door but we’re working, not round the clock because I like my sleep, but we’re working hard to get them done.
“Hopefully we’ll get a bit of news towards the weekend, but as long as we’ve got them in for the first game of the season I’ll be happy.”