We deserved a draw – PNE defender

Calum Woods
Calum Woods
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Calum Woods felt Preston North End fully merited the point they earned at league leaders Brighton and could well have brought all three back from the south coast.

The Lilywhites matched their hosts all the way through the game, having the better chances in the second half.

Had Joe Garner not seen a goalbound header cleared off the line by Bruno Saltor and then put a stoppage-time volley too high, PNE would have ended the home side’s unbeaten record in the league this season.

North End defender Woods said: “I thought we played well as a team and came out with a good point which capped off a great week for us.

“We could have won that, make no bones about it.

“In the second half we had some great chances and in the first half too, Jordan Hugill and Eoin Doyle went close.

“I didn’t think that Brighton created too many chances.

“So perhaps we are a little bit disappointed just to have drawn and that shows how far we think we have come in a few days.

“Brighton are a very good side and have done well this season to still be unbeaten in the league.

“I think their main threat comes from the full-backs who push into good attacking areas down the sides.

“They did that in the early stages against us, but once we stopped that happening, we looked all right.

“Brighton have got some very good players all over the pitch, so this result was a pleasing one.”

The goalless draw at the Amex Stadium and the same scoreline against Cardiff a week earlier, book-ended last Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over Charlton.

Three clean sheets on the bounce was a statistic which was particularly satisfying to Woods.

For the second game running, he played in a three-man back line together with Bailey Wright and Greg Cunningham.

The more central role instead of his usual jobs in either of the full-back position, is one which the Scouser is enjoying.

Woods said: “I’ve enjoyed it playing at centre-back.

“When I was younger, I played there quite a bit but I haven’t done it for a few years.

“I feel that I have done alright there and I’ll play anywhere I’m asked to.

“We play different formations against different teams, so you have to be quite flexible.

“That is three clean sheets in a week which is very pleasing.

“We’ve had a few injuries at the back which has meant people coming into the side.

“The squad here is a good one, it’s not the biggest but everyone who comes into the side believes they are good enough to do a job.

“That is what is happening at the moment, we are all pulling together to try our best to get a good result.”

The PNE squad got back to Deepdale late on Saturday after spending five nights down south in and around the Charlton and Brighton matches.

It was done as a team-bonding exercise and also to save on the time and cost of two long trips.

Said Woods: “It was good to spend time together as a squad and we had a laugh.

“We went to Kempton Park races on Wednesday night and enjoyed that.

“It was nice to spend a couple of hours out and about, even if we were not too successful with the horses we backed.

“Greg Cunningham is well into his racing, he knows a couple of jockeys and had got a few tips off them.

“The fact that we got a couple of good results during our time away shows that we benefitted from the trip.

“But by the time it came to coming home on Saturday night, all the lads were looking forward to see their families again.

“We will now get our focus on playing Bolton this weekend.”