Preston manager Frankie McAvoy praised his players for rising to the challenge as Patrick Bauer’s goal secured their first Championship points of the season in a 1-0 victory over Peterborough.
The Lilywhites, who had lost their opening three league matches, got up and running thanks to Bauer’s 14th-minute strike on his first league appearance since December.
“We said before the game we need to stand up and be counted in this one,” said McAvoy. “Our destiny was in our own hands, we had to take the game to Peterborough and we did that.
“Offensively I thought we did well. I think we had 16 attempts with seven on target, but we only got one goal, but I can’t be too critical of that as we got the result.
“The main part to look at moving forward is making sure we take more of the chances.
“I’m delighted for Patrick Bauer to get back playing and score. I told him not to put too much pressure on himself and just go and be the Patrick Bauer we know he can be and he was brilliant.
“One-nilis always difficult to manage and Peterborough kept coming at us, but I’m delighted for everyone that we picked up the three points.”
The breakthrough came when Ryan Ledson’s whipped free-kick from the left exposed some poor Peterborough marking around the penalty spot and Bauer rose to power a header past Christy Pym.
Peterborough fought back in the second half, with Siriki Dembele’s mis-hit shot causing chaos inside the Preston box as Sepp Van Den Berg made a key block on the six-yard line before Andrew Hughes hacked away the loose ball.
But Pym was by far the busier of the goalkeepers, tipping over Hughes’ towering header and then producing a diving save to deny Danish winger Emil Riis Jakobsen.
“This is a very disappointing result and a very disappointing performance in the first half,” said Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson.
“I felt that we just did not play with any conviction and that is the message that I gave to the players at the end of the game.
“We have to play with more belief as this was a game I thought we could come and win.
“In the second half we were more like ourselves and we created more chances, but we just didn’t play well enough in the first half and that has cost us.
“There was a 10 or 15-minute spell in the first half where we just stopped doing what we do well and we had to ride that before the break.
“We did start to cause problems in the second half, but we just could not get that goal and the Dembele chance was a big opportunity for us.
“I really need the players to start believing in themselves in the same way that I believe in them, because if we do, I think we can have a really good season.”
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