Defeat leaves Welsh puzzled

John Welsh (left) is disappointed after Sam Winnall gives Barnsley the lead
John Welsh (left) is disappointed after Sam Winnall gives Barnsley the lead
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Midfielder John Welsh found it hard to accept that Preston had not taken anything out of their Deepdale clash with Barnsley.

The Lilywhites slipped to a fifth league defeat in six games as Adam Armstrong’s superb late goal saw the three points head across the Pennines.

Having fallen behind to a first-half goal from one-time PNE trialist Sam Winnall, North End levelled through Aiden McGeady’s fine debut strike.

At that stage, Welsh felt there was only going to be one winner – unfortunately it was Barnsley who scored on the break.

“The lads were dejected, it was a quiet dressing room,” Welsh told the Evening Post.

“We felt their two goals were avoidable and that is something we need to look at.

“But in the second half I thought we dominated from start to finish.

“There hadn’t been much in it in the first half, just the sloppy goal we conceded.

“But in the second half I thought we were really good.

“You can sometimes feel it on the pitch that you are going to go on and win.

“We got the equaliser when Aiden produced a great finish.

“He and Callum Robinson were bright and sharp – they were our main threat.

“Eoin Doyle was getting in and around the box and it looked like there was only going to be one winner.

“Then there was the sucker punch of them scoring – that was another avoidable goal.

“If we find ourselves in that position again, we need to shut the game down, be a bit more vigilant in our play.

“Take nothing away from Adam Armstong’s skill which got him into that position to score, but I still think it was avoidable.

“You can’t fault our effort, we passed the ball well in the second half.

“We got in some good positions, people got into pockets of space and got shots away.”

Welsh is looking forward to having Republic of Ireland international McGeady as a team-mate. The 30-year-old joined PNE on a season’s loan from Everton on transfer deadline day.

But having been away on international duty when the deal went through, he only joined up with the Preston squad last Thursday.

It meant he had only two training sessions ahead of the Barnsley game.

Said Welsh: “Aiden has played at the highest level, his positional sense is brilliant.

“He can go either way – left or right foot. Aiden is a great addition to and if he keeps scoring goals like the one on Saturday, he will soon be a fans’ favourite. We only met him on Thursday. He’s a nice fella and he has mixed well with the lads.

“A player with his talent is good to play with, he always wants the ball and gets in good positions to try and make things happen.

“He was definitely one of the positives from the game.”

North End were in for a Sunday training session to start the preparations for the home game with Cardiff City on Tuesday night.

With just three points on the board from the first six league games, Welsh is only too aware that they need to put together a run of results.

The 32-year-old said: “We have to pick ourselves up ready for the Cardiff game.

“We haven’t had the best of starts to the season and we have to put that right – we will work hard to put things right quickly.”