Simon Grayson applauded a Preston North End performance containing both resilience and quality which brought them victory over Peterborough at Deepdale.
Goals from Daniel Johnson and Jermaine Beckford gave the Lilywhites a 2-0 win, the result keeping them in second place ahead of Swindon and MK Dons who also recorded victories.
You look at Daniel Johnson and he is proving to be an absolute steal for us
They had to work hard for the three points – their eighth win in nine games – against an energetic Posh outfit who had won four on the bounce before last night.
PNE manager Grayson said: “We knew that it was going to be different to Saturday’s game and we told the players to go out and do whatever it takes to win.
“If we can play free-flowing football like we did against Crewe, then great, if you have to be dogged and resilient, do that.
“Peterborough are probably the hardest working team I have seen over the last few weeks. They play a little bit differently – they turn you, work you, pressure you.
“We had to be on our toes and it was a game where both teams had to battle and compete. As the game wore on our quality came through.
“When we got the ball we played some good stuff and in the latter stages it looked like we were going to score more goals.”
The outstanding Johnson gave North End a 37th minute lead, collecting a pass from Joe Garner and curling in a fine shot from just outside the box into the far bottom corner. Beckford sealed victory nine minutes from time with a close-range finish from Paul Gallagher’s pull-back.
“You look at Daniel Johnson and he is proving to be an absolute steal for us,” said Grayson.
“His all-round game was excellent, he was tackling and competing.
“When Daniel got to the edge of the box for the goal, a lot of players in his position would have smashed the ball with their laces.
“But he side-footed it into the corner of the goal, that gave us the opportunity to really build on things in the second half.
“I thought that in the second half we were a lot better in terms of being more compact as a team, we restricted them to very few opportunities but we also played some very good quick football in and around their area.
“The second goal saw some great play by Johnson to play the ball out to Robinson, we doubled up on them, Paul Gallagher got to the byline and it was a good finish from Jermaine Beckford.
“All round it was a very satisfying night with three points, two goals and a clean sheet.”
Grayson revealed that top-scorer Garner had been substituted 12 minutes from time because he had been suffering from a virus.
He said: “I think a couple of Joe’s kids have had it and he was feeling a bit under the weather. We will look after him before Saturday’s game.”