Alex Neil was pleased to see two of his substitutes come to the fore as his attacking gamble paid off in Preston North End’s win at Hull last night.
Callum Robinson’s 88th-minute header from Daryl Horgan’s cross sealed the 2-1 victory at the KCOM Stadium.
Jarrod Bowen had earlier cancelled out Tom Barkhuizen’s opener with the introductions of Robinson, Horgan and Josh Harrop then making for an open second half.
“It was a conscious decision by me to open up the game with the way I put my subs on,” Neil said.
“I knew taking John Welsh off who is our screener, our protector, and taking Jordan Hugill off who is our big lump who can keep it at the top end of the pitch was going to make it an open match.
“I just felt that with the players we had on the pitch and the legs we had the pitch that making it open would have suited us more than it suited them.
“It’s not always going to go right for me when I make that type of decision.
“You get it wrong and you’re going to get criticised and have egg on your face.
“But I wanted three points more than one point and fortunately it worked out for me.”
Neil admitted that Robinson and Horgan were two players who had taken their time to adapt to his way of thinking.
It could turn out to be a landmark night for both though, the Irishman’s break setting up Robinson’s close-range finish that sent the travelling support into raptures.
“I was delighted for them two in particular because they’ve been frustrated they’ve not been playing more and they showed why they are hoping to get in the team,” the PNE boss said.
“They’ve probably not grasped what I wanted to do as much as the other lads have up until this point.
“But it shows you I will put them on to try and show me that they’re taking it in and they can do it.
“Undoubtedly both of them have got talent.
“But the way my teams work are that the team comes first and it’s not about any individual.”
Neil even confessed that he thought Horgan had made the wrong decision, bursting down the right-hand side of the box when he could have played in players to his left.
“I thought he’d chosen the wrong option,” the Lilywhites manager said.
“To be honest up until that point he’d given the ball away two or three times and I was cursing him from the side.
“But good, brave attacking players need to be brave enough to get the ball and create something.
“He did that and he created the goal for us.
“I’m delighted for him because he works extremely hard.”