Greg Cunningham admits Preston were off the pace in Ipswich defeat

Greg Cunningham admitted PNE had a “bad day at the office” as they slipped to a rare Championship defeat at Ipswich.

REACTION: 'We never got going' says PNE boss Alex Neil after Ipswich defeat

Greg Cunningham puts Ipswich's Jonas Knudsen under pressure at Deepdale on Saturday.

Greg Cunningham puts Ipswich's Jonas Knudsen under pressure at Deepdale on Saturday.

Alex Neil’s men were way off the pace for long periods in the 1-0 reverse with Mustapha Carayol’s first-half goal enough to hand the visitors all three points.

The PNE boss made a double substitution late in the first half and made several tactical switches in the second but couldn’t prevent his side losing for just the second time in 18 Championship games.

“If things aren’t working he’ll make changes,” Cunningham said.

“We changed personnel and formation to try and set us alight but it was a bad day at the office.

Cunningham battles with Dominic Iorfa.

Cunningham battles with Dominic Iorfa.

“I switched over and then back again myself but I’ll just do anything to help the team in whatever way I can and in whatever way the gaffer sees fit.

“It was just one of those days where nothing really fell for us and every second ball seemed to drop to them whereas nine out of 10 times we’re there to keep the press on.

“You could see their gameplan was to hook it long at every opportunity and try and pick up second balls.

“They were effective today, especially in the first half.”

Going in front 21 minutes in was the ideal scenario for Mick McCarthy’s side.

Having seen chances come and go Carayol beat Declan Rudd one-on-one after profiting on Calum Woods’ hesitation.

“We usually fly out of the blocks and have that energy about us,” Cunningham said.

“It just went missing at the start of the game and gave Ipswich more confidence.

“We’d done our research and we knew what to expect but we got out-battled.

“It was frustrating goal to give away and it gave them something to hold onto.

“We then struggled to break them down.

“It was a tough day for us, especially on the back of some good performances.

“It was well below par by our standards.”