PNE boss content with point

Preston North End's Joe Garner battles with  Birmingham City's Michael Morrison

Preston North End's Joe Garner battles with Birmingham City's Michael Morrison

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Simon Grayson was content to see Preston North End pick up another point after surviving a second-half onslaught from Birmingham last night.

The Deepdale clash ended in a 1-1 draw, Adam Reach’s first goal for the Lilywhites giving them an interval lead.

But it was all Birmingham in the second half, North End indebted to a fine performance from Jordan Pickford who made some crucial saves.

The visitors also hit the woodwork twice and missed two one-on-ones, hence a sigh of relief when the final whistle went.

PNE manager Grayson said: “When you look back over the course of the game, we could have won it and could have lost it, ultimately we have drawn it.

“In the first half we were quite comfortable, knowing how Birmingham were going to play.

“They like to invite pressure and then hit you on the counter-attack with their pace.

“We got a good start with the goal and then tried to get a second to put even more pressure on them.

“I think you then have to give a lot of credit to Birmingham for the way they came out at us in the second half, they took the game to us.

“We were then thankful to our goalkeeper for the saves he made and for the chances which they missed.

“But we had a couple of decent opportunities too.

“If someone had offered me seven points out of nine in the last three games, I would certainly have taken that.”

Pickford collected the man of the match award after his second-half heroics, although he did hold his hand up afterwards for a mistake which led to Michael Morrison’s equaliser.

Grayson was unable to give any clear indication of whether the keeper will be recalled from his loan by Sunderland next month.

He said: “Jordan came in and apologised for the goal because he’s come for it and missed it completely.

“We forgive him for that because he kept us in the game anyway. It shows he’s got high standards for himself.

“We’re very delighted that Sunderland have allowed him to be at our football club.

“The lad has got a bright future wherever he’s going to be - we’re just happy to have him and help with his development.

“We are grateful that we’ve had him. What will be, will be in the future, we’ll see where it goes.

“It might be that his future is in other people’s hands but we can look on it a different way that we might never have had him in the first place.

“We have had some great goalkeepers at the club in Declan Rudd and Sam Johnstone. We’ll now concentrate on going to Leeds on Sunday and then the Christmas games, then assess what happens in January.”

Last night’s result kept North End in 16th place, behind Wolves and Nottingham Forest on goal difference, with them now having lost just one in the last 10 matches.