Kyel Reid says Preston North End must use Tuesday night’s game with Yeovil Town to right the wrongs of the disappointing draw with Leyton Orient.
Friday night’s clash was one filled with frustration as sloppy and wasteful play cost PNE two vital points in the promotion race.
While for a few hours they closed the gap by a point on top two Swindon and Bristol City, as well as jumping over MK Dons, on Saturday the advantage went the other way.
Swindon and Bristol City both won to stretch their lead over North End to eight points.
Also victorious were MK Dons, enabling them to move back into third spot and open up a two-point gap.
The Lilywhites are the only ones in the top four to be playing tomorrow.
Neither them, Bristol City or Swindon are in action this Saturday because of FA Cup commitments.
Winger Reid told the Evening Post: “The Yeovil game is a game we have to look forward to.
“Friday’s game and result was disappointing. But we have got a quick turn around and we have to try and take advantage of that.
“We have to make our home advantage count, this is where I think we play our best football.
“Away teams will not make it easy for you here, they see the stadium, feel the atmosphere and want to put you under pressure.
“We have to be up for that challenge and focusing on trying to get three points.”
Orient’s visit on Friday was an opportunity missed to put some pressure on at the top and put behind them the 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United.
All that PNE could put on the board was a 2-2 draw, that after leading 2-1.
The statistics showed the number of shots off target in the high teens, that a telling factor in the outcome.
Said Reid: “The Orient game was a frustrating night, very disappointing.
“It actually felt like we had lost because of how it panned out.
“We got a point out of it but after going 2-1 up we should have seen the game out and got the win.
“What we needed to do was dig in more and killed them off.
“I thought at 2-1 that we could go on and get a third goal – we still had chances to do that.
“It was so disappointing to see Orient go down the other end and pull level.
“You cannot say that we didn’t have the chances on Friday, we did but they were not hitting the net.”
If there was anything to lift Reid’s mood on Friday, it was getting 90 minutes of first-team football under his belt.
That was his ninth start for North End, the fourth in the league.
A purple patch in the game for him came during the second half when a good spell of Preston pressure mainly came through him down the left-wing.
It was Reid who won the penalty for PNE’s second goal, Paul Gallagher driving home the spot-kick.
Reid said: “I don’t actually remember too much about the penalty, I got a clip which put me down to the floor.
“I was pleased to get 90 minutes, it was another step forward after the injury.
“I’m getting stronger by the week and will continue to do that by keeping on top of the strengthening programme which I have got.
“The actual injury is not something which I think about to much now.
“I’m confident in the knee, it doesn’t bother me, what my focus is on is getting fitter and being able to last for as long the gaffer wants me on the pitch for.
“The confidence is there to take players on and get the ball into the box, create chances for the other lads.
“I feel that the more games I play, the better I will get as my match fitness is steadily returning.
“The fitter and sharper you are, the more confidence you play with.
“I’ll keep plugging away in training and take that into the next game I’m selected for.
“I can give the team a different dimension.”
It was a year ago yesterday that Reid tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee playing for Bradford.
What followed was almost eight months out of the game, during which he signed for Preston when his contract at Bradford ran out.
North End were happy to take the risk on him, knowing that he would not be available until September.
Reid has played 20 games now and is now a regular name in the first-team squad on match days.
He is still being carefully managed by the club’s physio and fitness staff, as any player would be after such a serious injury.
“Having the extra day after playing Friday night will be an advantage for me when it comes to the Yeovil game,” said Reid.
“After playing in a game it is a case of getting some ice on the knee and resting it.
“One of the main things you are aiming to do is make sure you don’t get any niggling injuries.
“The surgeon told me that would be something I would have to concentrate on.
“Our physio Matt Jackson has worked with the surgeon a few times so he knows what work is required.
“I’m working hard behind the scenes.”
Meanwhile, North End’s Paul Gallagher says a goal and assist against Orient was scant consolation after the dropping of points.
Gallagher’s free-kick was headed home by Jermaine Beckford for PNE’s equaliser.
Then Gallagher hit home the penalty won by Reid.
Said Gallagher: “We should have seen the game out at 2-1 but unfortunately we didn’t.
“We showed character by recovering from conceding the early goal to equalise and then go in front.
“Those are the times when you should be seeing the game out, something we had been doing quite well over the last few months.
“We had to manage the game a lot better but instead got done by a sucker punch.
“From our point of view, we weren’t good enough on Friday night.
“It was nice to have the goal and the assist but I would rather of us got the three points.
“We have to make sure we put things right in the next game against Yeovil.”
Gallagher’s penalty in the Orient game was his eighth goal of the season.
He is the second highest scorer at North End behind Joe Garner who has 12.
One of Gallagher’s goals came in the 2-0 victory over tomorrow’s visitors Yeovil at Huish Park in November.