Preston North End manager Simon Grayson says the victory over promotion-chasing Hull City at Deepdale was the perfect way to round off 2015.
A 66th minute goal from Paul Gallagher gave the Lilywhites a 1-0 win over Steve Bruce’s side, a result which opened-up a seven-point gap betweenthem and the bottom three.
It was Gallagher’s fourth goal of the campaign, the midfielder firing home from 11 yards after being picked out by a Daniel Johnson free-kick.
Grayson said: “I was delighted that we won against a strong Hull City team.
“We wanted a reaction from the Huddersfield game on Boxing Day in which we were disappointing with and without the ball.
“Against Hull, we got that reaction from the first whistle and we played extremely well.
“There could have been no complaints from anyone had we been 3-0 or 4-0 up by half-time.
“We pressed Hull and didn’t allow them to play their normal game.
“This was a great way to end 2015.
“At the start of the year, our sole aim was to get promoted.
“We suffered the disappointment on the last day of the season of missing out on automatic promotion but we bounced back and won at Wembley.
“Since then, we have acquitted ourselves reasonably well in the Championship.
“To win the final league game of the year at home in front of our supporters, tells you what this club is all about.
“The place was bouncing when the goal went in, they could see the effort the players put in.
“We go again on Saturday and hopefully 2016 can be equally as successful as 2015 was.”
Grayson was pleased to see the free-kick routine for the winning goal pay off.
“We have tried it a few times this season and a few teams have tried it against us,” said Grayson.
“Sometimes these things work, sometimes they don’t come off.
“DJ and Gally have got a good understanding and I was delighted to see Gally’s shot hit the back of the net.”
There was a moment of controversy deep into stoppage time when an effort from Hull’s Curtis Davies was kicked off the line by John Welsh.
Hull boss Steve Bruce later claimed it was over the line but Grayson saw it differently.
Said Grayson: “I couldn’t tell when I was on the touchline but I have seen a replay and it was not over the line, John Welsh made a great clearance.
“It was the right decision and we have probably earned that luck with not having much of it in recent weeks.”
Bruce said: “It was over the line but we are clutching at straws with something like that because we haven’t performed anywhere near the level we can do.”