Preston North End boss Alex Neil insists the drab Deepdale draw with Nottingham Forest should not take the gloss off his side’s unbeaten run in the Championship.
The two sides played out an instantly forgettable 0-0 stalemate on Saturday as the Lilywhites did not hit the heights of some impressive performances in 2019.
But a picking up a hard-fought point against Martin O’Neill’s men extended PNE’s unbeaten stretch to seven games.
It also made it seven points out of nine in a busy week that included impressive wins at Bolton Wanderers and at home to then league leaders Norwich City.
All in all, it leaves the Lilywhites in 11th place ahead of the trip south to face Millwall on Saturday.
That is in stark contrast to a difficult first part of the season blighted by injuries and patchy form across the board.
“I talked to the lads about being seven games unbeaten after the game,” said Neil.
“Naturally we are such a young group that if we don’t win any game, they are sitting there devastated.
“But we picked up a good point against a strong team.
“I have told the lads that if seven games ago someone had said we go on a run like we have done, played as well as we have done, beaten the teams we have beaten, we would have been absolutely buzzing.
“It is certainly not doom and gloom because we have drawn.”
Neil made no secret of the fact that Saturday’s goalless draw was not easy on the eye.
Both sides largely cancelled each other out, the PNE boss changing personnel and systems with regularity to little effect.
But having dazzled for spells against Norwich and played some excellent football in other games, Neil again looked at the bigger picture with PNE not having tasted defeat in the Championship since the New Year’s Day trip to Rotherham.
“You know what I’m like, I like to watch a good game,” Neil said.
“I didn’t see a good game on Saturday.
“There haven’t been many games like the Forest one, we have been good value in general. The way we have played recently has been excellent, the lads deserve all the credit.”
Tickets for PNE’s trip to The Den on Saturday are selling well, with more than 650 of the allocation of around 1,000 sold.
North End will be looking for a fourth away win on the bounce after victories at Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City and Bolton.
More than 2,000 tickets have also already been sold for another big away game on the calendar – the trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, March 9.