David Buchanan cited a clean sheet and more quality in the second half as the big factors in Preston North End’s latest victory on the road.
North End beat Shrewsbury 1-0 at Greenhous Meadow, an own goal from Shrews right-back Ryan Woods 11 minutes from time delivering the three points.
It was an eighth away win in League One this season and followed up their Boxing Day success at Carlisle by the same scoreline.
As a spectacle, the game was not the most pleasing on the eye.
But it strengthened PNE’s position in the top four and left-back Buchanan felt it was a reward for their work-rate.
“It is another three points on the road, which is the main thing,” said Buchanan.
“Shrewsbury were on the back of three home defeats so we knew they would be trying to rectify that.
“In the first half we had to work really hard and neither side created too much.
“We were happy to go in nil-nil at half-time and we said that if we raised our game 10 to 20%, then we had enough quality to go on and win it.
“When you keep a clean sheet you just need to go and get one goal at the other end, and that is how things turned out.
“We had players who came off the bench in the second half to make an impact – in the end a bit if quality told.”
The winner came when Joe Garner threaded a pass through to Iain Hume on the right-hand side of the box.
Hume, who had only been on the pitch three minutes, cut the ball across the six-yard box where the unfortunate Woods turned the ball into his own net as he tried to clear for a corner.
Said Buchanan: “We have got a lot of quality in our squad, both in the team, on the bench and sat in the stand.
“Humey showed what he is capable of by setting up the goal and it doesn’t matter how it ended up in the net.
“I have said it all season that everyone in our squad is capable of coming from the stand, straight into the team and doing a job.
“We are all behind each other which is a massive thing in football. We are a tight-knit group on and off the pitch and we all want the same thing, which is promotion.”
Buchanan is one of those currently benefiting from a spot of festive squad rotation by PNE boss Simon Grayson.
He has started the last two games in place of Scott Laird on the left-hand side.
Yesterday he played the first hour in the left wing-back role before reverting to left-back when the system changed to a 4-4-2.
“I felt I have done well in the games against Carlisle and Shrewsbury,” said Buchanan. “I work hard in training every day, give my all and have done for the manager since he came in.
“The manager said that over the Christmas period he would rotate the squad.
“It has been my turn to play and I think that I have taken my chance.
“Playing the wing-back role, which I did for the first part of the Shrewsbury game, was quite difficult.
“It is a half-and-half role and takes some adapting to, but we work in training on it and can fit into it.
“We changed the system later, which meant I played as a left-back, which was a more familiar role to me.
“The important thing was that we won the game and now we want to push on and beat Port Vale at home.”