Paul Huntington admits Preston are struggling to cope with injury crisis
The 3-0 reverse saw Alex Neil’s men lose a fourth straight game in the Championship with seven defenders out of action at the start of play.
Darnell Fisher also limped off with a groin problem shortly before Martyn Waghorn fired the hosts in front with a free-kick in first-half stoppage time.
Any PNE reaction was halted when David McGoldrick doubled the lead four minutes into the second half, Bersant Celina completing the victory just after the hour.
“We had the better chances up until their first goal, it’s been a similar story of late,” said Huntington.
“We miss some chances and then let in poor goals.
“It will be a lot better when people get back fit.
“It will make us a lot stronger. Having seven or eight defenders out today didn’t help us.
“Then we had one go off as well.
“I think any team would struggle with that many players out.
“The lads gave it a go but in the second half the game went away from us.
“It was disappointing to lose the goal before half-time because there was nothing in it.
“We were right in the game.”
Huntington has been around the block in a varied career that has included time at Newcastle, Leeds and Yeovil amongst others.
The 30-year-old has never seen anything like the current treatment room at Deepdale however, Sean Maguire’s need for an operation on a hamstring injury also confirmed before kick-off.
“I’ve never known this amount of injuries,” said Huntington, who returned at Portman Road after his own one-game ban.
“It’s frustrating, it’s disappointing. It’s pretty much two back fours that are out.
“Darnell went off with his groin and Jordan Hugill’s picked up a booking so he will be another one out suspended. What can you do?
“Whoever plays the results aren’t good enough though.
“We had a great start to the season and the injuries have affected us because you’ve seen the performances have dipped.
“We’ve got to try and work hard in the break to get better.”