Preston striker Jordan Hugill delivered a ‘better late than never’ verdict on the victory over Queens Park Rangers.
Hugill struck in the 88th minute to give PNE the three points, and their first win at Deepdale since September.
QPR had proved a tough unit to break down despite playing with 10 men since a 22nd-minute red card for Jamie Mackie.
Only when Paul Gallagher threaded a fine through ball to Hugill did they crack.
The front man had carried a belief that a chance would fall his way and it was with a sense of relief that he took it so late in the game.
Hugill said: “When I got the chance I just thought, ‘This needs to go in’.
“I’d been waiting for a chance and kept telling myself that one would come.
“I didn’t see much of the ball in the second half as we were playing down the sides to try to get the ball into the box that way.
“I kept saying to myself that I would get a chance and I’m glad I did.
“The sending off in the first half changed the game completely.
“QPR were so compact that we had to try and suck them out to get in behind.
“We did that a lot better in the second half than we had done in the first half.
“It meant I didn’t get on the ball as much because we weren’t playing through me as we usually do.”
There was work to do for Hugill once Gallagher’s pass had played him in.
By his own admission, he might have made harder work of his goal than maybe he should have done.
Said Hugill: “I thought my first touch took me a bit too far towards the keeper.
“I thought, ‘I need to get something on it’ so I toe-poked it under him.
“To see it go through his legs was brilliant.”
Hugill’s goal took his tally for the season to eight, with six of those in the league.
If the summer transfer window was anything to go by, there is certain to be more interest in him in January.
The bidding went as high as £8m for his services in August, with the striker handing in a transfer request at one stage.
Hugill says he has kept his focus on football rather than be distracted by the events of the summer.
“I can’t do much else but be myself,” said Hugill.
“I’ve come from a working class background, whatever job I’m given I’ve give everything to regardless of what’s gone on.
“Stuff happened, but you’ve not seen me whingeing or moaning.
“You’ve seen me get my head down, get on with it and just go from there.
“From 13 last year, to get to eight already – six in the league – is brilliant for me.”