Maxwell hails away-day success

Chris Maxwell shakes hands with PNE goalscorer Alex Baptiste

Chris Maxwell shakes hands with PNE goalscorer Alex Baptiste

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Goalkeeper Chris Maxwell praised Preston’s character as they beat Norwich City to cause the shock result of the day in the Championship.

The Lilywhites became the first side to beat the Canaries at Carrow Road in the league this season, Alex Baptiste’s 75th-minute header giving them the three points.

Maxwell more than played his part in the victory, pulling off three vital saves during the course of the afternoon.

In the opening seconds, he tipped a shot from Cameron Jerome over the bar.

Then soon after Baptiste had scored, the Welshman kept the lead intact – getting fingertips to a Cameron shot to take it against the post and then blocking the follow-up with his legs.

Maxwell said: “We are a dogged team, a team full of winners and characters.

“We had to dig deep to get the three points and what a massive result it was for us, not just the players and staff but the fans who made the long journey down.

“The win must have made the trip worthwhile and it was great to send them home with plenty to smile about.

“When we got the free-kick which led to the goal, I sort of expected us to score.

“We have got players like Paul Gallagher, Ben Pringle and Daniel Johnson – it was DJ who took this one – who can deliver a great ball.

“Then we have got players who like to head the ball and it was great to see Baps make it two goals and in two games.

“I had a bit to do during the game but you expect that as a keeper and have to be ready for what gets thrown at you.

“Their first chance was very early in the game, after just a few seconds, so at least I got an early touch.

“In the second half, I got a touch to the shot which hit the post and then managed to block the rebound.

“That is what I’m there for and I’ve been working really hard with Alan Kelly and Jack Cudworth in training so that I’m ready to make those sort of saves.”

Since Maxwell came into the team last month, North End have gone seven games unbeaten in league and cup.

With them also having won August’s cup game against Oldham in which he made his PNE debut, the 25-year-old could be regarded as their lucky charm.

“Things like that are for you lot to write about rather than for me to talk about,” Maxwell said when on media duty after the game.

“This is the highest level I have played at and I’m really determined to prove myself.

“It is always nice to have days like this when nothing goes past you.”

What looked like a very daunting run of matches in October, has so far gone very much in Preston’s favour.

They have beaten a cash-laden Aston Villa side, drawn at Brighton, with a 3-1 victory over Huddersfield coming three days before the success at Carrow Road.

Said Maxwell: “It has been a one-game-at-a-time job and no one is getting carried away in the slightest – the staff would not allow us to do that.

“We have faced some very difficult teams at the top of the table but in the Championship it doesn’t matter who you face – whether at the top of bottom, teams will give you a tough game.

“It is Newcastle next at their place in the cup and then we play them at home next Saturday.

“We will prepare well for both of the games and give it our best shot.”