VIDEO: PNE boss hails 'great' second-half display

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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson praised his side's second-half comeback against Aston Villa after admitting they had not been at the races before the interval.

The Lilywhites trailed 2-0 at the interval to Villa, two goals from Albert Adomah putting the hosts in control.

Jermaine Beckford in action for PNE against Aston Villa

Jermaine Beckford in action for PNE against Aston Villa

But Grayson's men hit back in the second half, Jordan Hugill cutting the deficit with a fine solo goal and then equalising with a towering header.

"The second half was better than the first half without a shadow of doubt," said Grayson.

"I thought in the first half we were as bad as we have been for a long while, we didn't do the basics right which have made us a good team recently.

"We didn't stop the opposition from playing, we didn't keep the ball, didn't create chances and overturned possession too easily.

PNE manager Simon Grayson applauds the travelling supporters at the final whistle

PNE manager Simon Grayson applauds the travelling supporters at the final whistle

"Villa we allowed to dictate the game, yes they were at home in front of more than 30,000 fans but we made it too easy for them.

"We didn't lay a glove on them and didn't stop them playing.

"At half-time we exchanged a few words and you saw the proper team come out in the second half."

REACTION: Hugill hails PNE's character

MATCH REPORT: Aston Villa 2-2 PNE

AS IT HAPPENED: Aston Villa 2-2 PNE

That said, Grayson had a big complaint about the penalty for Villa's second goal, Aiden McGeady penalised for a foul on Adomah.

"I haven't seen their first goal but the second one was never a penalty, McGeady won the ball," said Grayson.

"The referee has given a penalty and then gone over to the linesman who said it was not a penalty, but the referee stuck by his decision.

"It was a bad decision, I'm not one for criticising referees too much, I like Andy Madley, I think he's a good referee.

"But he got that one wrong.

"We didn't bury our heads in the sand, we stuck our chests out and put on a great performance in the second half.

"At half-time I told the lads that the third goal in the game would be important.

"I have played here, been to a lot of games here and the place can get anxious, that goes with the territory of being a big club like this.

"We showed great character, we kept the ball better and could even have nicked it.

"Jordan Hugill had been one of the only ones in the first half to come out with any credit and he deserved his two goals.

"His first goal was an absolute wonder strike with how he ran with the ball and put their defenders on the back foot.

"He was going to come off just before the second one because he was complaining about a knee injury, the ball didn 't go out of play and when it went in the box, he scored a fantastic header."

REACTION: Hugill hails PNE's character

MATCH REPORT: Aston Villa 2-2 PNE

AS IT HAPPENED: Aston Villa 2-2 PNE