Graham Westley says the contribution of front pair Stuart Beavon and Jack King to Preston North End’s win at Scunthorpe shouldn’t be overlooked.
While hat-trick hero Nicky Wroe took the plaudits for his first-half treble, PNE boss Westley felt Beavon and King played key roles in the 3-2 victory.
It was only the second time they’d been paired together from the start, having previously linked-up against Middlesbrough in the League Cup.
King set up the first two goals for Wroe on Tuesday night, with Beavon also having a hand in the second.
Westley said: “Jack’s hold-up play was absolutely outstanding.
“Stuart ran well off the back of Scunthorpe and was a constant menace.
“Both of them had chances and also helped create them.
“They gave the team the chance to get the game going forward.
“I thought it was an exceptional performance from the pair of them.
“Nicky Wroe quite rightly got the plaudits for his hat-trick and deservedly so – they were three cracking goals.
“But the contribution of the front two needs recognising as well.”
Westley was pleased to see North End back among the early goals.
Their opener at Scunthorpe came with only 25 seconds on the clock.
Earlier in the campaign they went through a spell of finding the net in the opening stages of games.
Said Westley: “I like us to start games quickly and we try and make that our business.
“We were very good at that earlier in the season but then the wheels came off the wagon a little bit in that respect.
“If you get an early goal it gives you the platform to build your play on.
“We did go on to play very well in the first half, the lads showed that they wanted to play on the front foot.
“I thought we mixed our play well, passed it when the moment was there and looked to get in behind them at other times.
“It worked effectively because the three goals we scored were excellent.”
A return to winning ways on Tuesday night was the perfect tonic ahead of the weekend’s trip to Tranmere.
While the League One leaders have suffered back-to-back defeats, Rovers’ previous unbeaten run suggests a tricky test awaits on the Wirral.
Westley said: “Tranmere are the focus now because it’s the next game.
“We’ve got to concentrate on improving our performance game by game, week by week, month by month.
“We aim to keep building our game and if you keep working hard, you usually end up in the right place.”
The win at Scunthorpe is likely to mean a big away following for the Tranmere game.
PNE have a 2,000 allocation at Prenton Park, and expect to come close to selling out.
They are advising fans to buy in advance, with tickets remaining on sale at Deepdale until 11.30am on Saturday.
Members of the armed services past and present can buy tickets for £5, with it being a Poppy Appeal game.