Grayson: Forest frustration shows just how far PNE have come
Simon Grayson felt his Preston side's disappointment after their draw at Nottingham Forest showed just how much progress they've made.
PNE dominated the first half at the City Ground and led through Simon Makienok’s strike moments before the interval.
But the hosts improved after the break with Chris Maxwell’s unlucky own goal midway through the second period levelling things up.
Both sides then had chances late on, Forest putting particular pressure on North End, but it ended 1-1 and honours even.
“We’ve got a disappointed dressing room and that shows you how far we’ve come, that we’re disappointed not to have won a game like this,” said Grayson.
“Ultimately we could have lost it as well though.
“There were plenty of opportunities, both sides were trying to win it late on.
“I think if anyone was watching the game they’d say first half to us, second half to them, so both sides will be satisfied with a point I suppose.”
The PNE boss lamented his side’s lack of a second goal in the first half, some fine chances coming and going, particularly as the Lilywhites made a fast start.
The one that did get converted was a fine team effort involving Daniel Johnson and Greg Cunningham with Makienok on hand to apply the finish.
“We went with three centre backs and Greg as a wing back got in behind with the pass from DJ and there was nice composure from Simon to finish,” said Grayson.
“I’d just like to have had that second goal before half-time just to give us more of a comfort zone.
“In that period where they had a lot of pressure we still had good chances and still looked a danger.
“Probably over the course of the game it’s a fair result but with the way we played in the first half the game could have been out of sight for us.”
Forest’s improvement in the second half saw them peg PNE back, especially after the visitors lost Ben Pearson to injury.
Maxwell was in fine fettle though, producing two sharp saves before a cruel twist of fate saw Thomas Lam’s shot hit a post and rebound off the North End ‘keeper and in.
“He was very unlucky with it hitting the post and coming back,” said Grayson.
“We were under pressure at that particular time and we just couldn’t quite retain the ball enough to stop those waves of attacks coming.
“We needed to pass the ball a little bit better and the injury to Pearson affected us a little bit more than we’d have liked it to have done.
“He was dominating the game and Browny (Alan Browne) was the energy in there but when he went off it affected us a bit.”
Pearson came off worse in a 50-50 with Armand Traore with Grayson indicating there was “no major damage”.
Elsewhere, Aiden McGeady returned to the squad and was an unused substitute at the City Ground.