Cunningham thinks PNE are being shown more respect

Greg Cunningham thinks Wolves' performance at Deepdale might be a taste of things to come for Preston North End.

Sunday, 20th November 2016, 3:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 11:20 am
Greg Cunningham battles with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Danny Batth

The Lilywhites saw visiting boss Paul Lambert send out a side designed to frustrate in his first game in charge on Saturday.

It largely worked as an in-form PNE saw a couple of good chances go begging late on as they were held to a 0-0 draw in a game that won’t live long in the memory.

“They were set up well,” said Cunningham.

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“Under their new manager away from home they were trying to make sure they were hard to beat and hard to break down.

“It just shows that teams are coming here now with a different mentality. They’re coming here not to get beat.

“It was a game where there weren’t many chances but the chances that did come fell to us.

“We weren’t able to take them and it wasn’t the best game for the neutral.

“We’re happy with the clean sheet but we’re just frustrated we couldn’t win the game.

“We could have nicked it and there wouldn’t have been any questions but we take the point and move onto next week.”

While Jordan Hugill missed the pick of the opportunities for Simon Grayson’s side, firing over in the final minute of stoppage time when in on goal, at the other end it was another good day for PNE’s defensive unit.

Tom Clarke took the man of the match honours from the sponsors but Cunningham and Alex Baptiste impressed at full back while Bailey Wright was rock solid on his 200th appearance for Preston.

That was backed up by another fine Chris Maxwell display between the sticks.

“We pride ourselves on clean sheets,” said left back Cunningham.

“All last season we were saying ‘be hard to beat, hard to break down’.

“Earlier on in the season we were giving away a few sloppy goals.

“We’ve tightened it up. From a defensive point of view we’re really happy.”

As well as being frustrated by Wolves themselves, PNE also were also left to rue what might have been as a late appeal for a penalty for a foul on Marnick Vermijl was waved away by referee James Linington.

North End will hoping their luck changes soon having also seen two good claims come to nothing in the last home game against Newcastle, a 2-1 defeat to Rafa Benitez’s promotion favourites.

“It looked a bit clumsy,” said Cunningham.

“I was a bit away, obviously screaming for it, and us being the home team it could have gone either way.

“That’s the way it goes. That’s two penalty decisions that could have gone our way in the last couple of games.

“We had chances to win the game though and didn’t take them and we go again.”

The next game sees Burton visit Deepdale this coming Saturday, with Cunningham acknowledging that PNE may have to adapt if Nigel Clough’s men take the same approach as Wolves.

“We have the personnel to change things up and the longer it goes on teams are going to come here and try and frustrate us,” he said.

“We’ll just keep plugging away the way we are at the moment and the results will come.”