PNE boss slams Boxing Day display

PNE winger Adam Reach challenges Kyle Dempsey in the Boxing Day defeat at Huddersfield

PNE winger Adam Reach challenges Kyle Dempsey in the Boxing Day defeat at Huddersfield

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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson admitted his side had been 'completely off it' in their Boxing Day defeat to Huddersfield Town.

The Lilywhites were beaten 3-1 at the John Smith's Stadium and in truth, the loss could have been heavier had the hosts put away more of the chances which fell their way in the second half.

Nahki Wells netted from close range to put the Terriers ahead in the 38th minute, a lead the striker doubled 10 minutes after the interval.

Emyr Huws scored direct from a corner to pile on the agony, before Adam Reach pulled back a consolation goal in stoppage-time.

Grayson said: "We were completely off it - every single one of our players.

"I don't think any of them can say they have played as well as they have done previously.

"We have built our success this season and last season on being hard to beat, winning individual battles and working collectively as a team.

"Too many of our players didn't do their jobs and didn't win their individual battles.

"If you do that in the Championship, you will get punished and that is what happened.

"We actually started quite brightly, the first goal in any game is crucial and we had three good chances early on.

"On another day we could have scored the first goal and it would have been a different story.

"But after that we didn't manage the game properly, we went chasing it and players like Nahki Wells and Sean Scannell hurt us."

Grayson had given his squad Christmas Day off but he denied his festive generosity had backfired.

He said: "Huddersfield also had Christmas Day off and they managed to put in a good performance..

"Any manager who gives their players Christmas Day off and then loses on Boxing Day, is always going to get it thrown back at them.

"I don't think it had anything to do with the defeat, it was because we collectively weren't at the races and didn't perform like we know we can do."