FOUR things we learned from Preston North End’s draw at Ashton Gate
Preston North End picked up their first away point of the season on Saturday as they drew 0-0 with Bristol City.
The Lilywhites had their chances in the game but City also had their own pressure on home turf.
TOM SANDELLS looks at four talking points from the contest.
1. If you don’t win, don’t lose.
It was said post-match after the stalemate, but if North End could not find the breakthrough it was imperative that they didn’t allow their opposition to open the scoring.
It was another solid display from the PNE defence that seems to have found its feet.
Patrick Bauer largely dealt with wily customer Chris Martin, as did Jordan Storey when the experienced forward looked to take advantage of the youngster.
They also had the threat of a long throw to deal with, which was no mean feat.
The foundation the back three – or five – allow the side is getting to be a key piece of the puzzle.
If they are on their game, they can make sure the Lilywhites at least get a point.
2. Chances to win it.
It was not a game that you came away from thinking that PNE were never going to break the deadlock, quite the opposite.
The Lilywhites had the better chances in the game.
Emil Riis was through on goal but slipped at the vital moment, Sepp van den Berg had opportunities in the final third and Sean Maguire hit the bar and went close shortly afterwards.
It is a better situation than not creating chance, on another day North End could walk away with all three points.
3. Sean Maguire at it.
Sean Maguire, who has had his critics in the past, continued his recent form.
He has been excellent in the last two league games and was so again against the Robins.
He linked play up well and was a nuisance for the backline, alert to any potential mistake.
His shot that came back off the bar was unfortunate but stemmed from smart movement. Likewise his close call that could have easily be turned in at the far post.
The Irishman looks to be confident and back to being threatening, which along with Riis finding the net more regularly, is good news for North End.
4. More to build on.
A point at the start of a busy month, with Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion next on the horizon, is a good start for McAvoy’s men.
It was important not to lose and it gives a foundation for the upcoming five games before October.
A clean sheet will be another boost – two in their last three games.
The Blades and Baggies both have an abundance of attacking threat so getting into the rhythm of being hard to beat will stand them in good stead for the month.