It was a really tough game at Deepdale today and it wasn’t like we were not expecting it.
The Lilywhites put Newcastle under pressure in the first half and we were thankful to in-form goalkeeper Karl Darlow for making some good saves when he had too.
He was alos assisted by some dogged defending by the Newcastle back four.
Newcastle were much improved in the second half and when we had gone 2-0 up after 71 minutes with two very good goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic, Preston came back and put Newcastle under pressure and scored after 90 minutes.
Rafa Benitez at Deepdale today
The referee played over 9 minutes of stoppage time when six minutes had been allotted – and Preston hit the post very late in added time.
This was not an easy game for Newcastle and we were not at our best, but Rafa had warned that Preston would be much improved from Tuesday night – and he was right about that.
But the gaffer was pleased with the character shown by the Newcastle players today:
“I am really pleased with the team because we are doing well away.” “The players showed character and in the whole game we did well defending.”
“They were pushing and we had to defend.” “In the first half they were pushing and we couldn’t stop the defenders getting it across the box and challenging for the first and second ball.”
“In the second half, we were much better. We had more space and we did well until the end, when we had the extra 15 minutes or whatever it was!”
“The most important thing was we defended well and got the three points.”
“It’s not easy when a team is pushing and you are challenging for the first and second ball and they are so close.”
“It is impossible to keep the ball on the floor and move it.” “So credit to them they were doing what they wanted to do.”
“The referee sometimes allows that type of game.” “We did well with the pressure and in the second half we used our quality to make the difference.”
Bottom line – it was a good professional display this afternoon and now we have won all six games in October in all competitions and Rafa should be the Championship manager of the month.
In those 6 games we scored 17 goals and conceded two.
Next up at home next Saturday are Cardiff City and we can take nothing for granted in that game – we need all 3 points before the two week International break.
Cardiff are 4th bottom and were beaten 1-0 at home by 3rd bottom Wigan Athletic today with an 86th minute winner from Gomez.