Browne puts PNE focus firmly back on league

Alan Browne battles for possession with Peterborough United's Martin Samuelsen

Alan Browne battles for possession with Peterborough United's Martin Samuelsen

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Midfield ace Alan Browne called on Preston North End to forget their disappointing 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Peterborough and start climbing up the table.

Browne says 15th-placed North End are no longer in the Championship relegation battle.

And after former PNE boss Graham Westley’s Posh side dumped the Lilywhites out of their last cup competition, Browne says the focus is now on rising up the table by bagging three points against Bristol City on Tuesday night.

He said: “It is disappointing to lose and disappointing to be out of the cup but we will focus on the league and hopefully we can put it right this week.

“We’ve got a good group of lads and I wouldn’t worry too much about this result.

“Now we can put all our focus on the league.

“I think we have pulled away from the relegation battle, for now. If we go to Bristol City and get a good result then hopefully we can carry on climbing up the table.”

Peterborough’s two goals on Saturday could have been stopped, said Browne.

West Ham whizz kid loanee Martin Samuelson opened the scoring in the seventh minute as he squeezed the ball past debutant keeper Chris Kirkland from distance.

But Browne says the midfielder should have been closed down before he rocketed in the opener and that Conor Washington’s 52nd-minute powerful header could also have been stopped.

He said: “They were tough conditions to play in.

“Peterborough are a good side, they had a bit of a strange formation but as we have seen it was effective and I don’t think we got hold of the game for any long period.

“It is always tough to come back when you concede early on.

“With our great defensive record, conceding early is not something we are used to. It was a big turning point in the game and I think they went on to take control from there.

“The gaffer kept telling us what we needed to do. We knew what we needed to do but we just didn’t put it into action.

“I don’t think we worked hard enough on and off the ball.

“And when we did get possession we gave the ball away easily.

“On a personal level and as a team I think we could have stopped the goals – especially the first one. I think we could have closed the man down quicker.

“Our reactions were off in that split second and that is what separates going a goal down or it staying 0-0.”

Callum Robinson re-signed on-loan from Premier League strugglers Aston Villa on Tuesday and he made an impact at London Road when he came off the substitutes’ bench.

Browne praised his impact and also backed striker Eoin Doyle – who missed two one-on-one opportunities against Peterborough.

He said: “When Callum came on he did well and gave us a lift.

“He put some great crosses into the box but we just couldn’t get on the end of things.

“It just didn’t seem to go for us.”

“We all know Doyley can finish.

“He’s a fantastic finisher and we see that in training every day but unfortunately he didn’t take his chances.

“But neither could anyone else and it was just a poor performance from us overall.”