John Roper’s Preston North End Fans’ Panel verdict: A point closer to safety

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All things considered we might reflect on this as a point won and not two points lost – particularly if we can win on Saturday at home to Huddersfield.

However it is another home game without a win and without a goal and something, somewhere will have to give sooner or later if this carries on for much longer.

I thought North End were considerably better than they were on Saturday and at least created some chances, although it has to be said most were half-chances.

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We were the better side in both halves but once again the powder-puff attack failed to produce against a Rangers side who I thought were slightly disappointing on the evening.

North End's Jordan Storey and Queens Park Rangers' Charlie AustinNorth End's Jordan Storey and Queens Park Rangers' Charlie Austin
North End's Jordan Storey and Queens Park Rangers' Charlie Austin

This was one of those games I am sure PNE would have won with fans inside Deepdale and while the effort and improvement was there the lack of quality, particularly in the final third, was once again there for all to witness

Alex Neil made four changes to the side beaten at Cardiff on Saturday with Van den Berg, Potts, Gordon and Sinclair coming in for Lindsay, Molumbu, Johnson and Riis.

North End set off on the front foot with a Sinclair shot in the opening minutes. The form book didn’t really reflect the game in the early stages although Iversen saved one on one with just six minutes on the clock.

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Preston had plenty of the ball in good areas but the quality of the crossing left plenty to be desired.

Iversen was almost chipped on the quarter hour but Gordon, Van den Berg and Potts, twice, all had chances as North End looked for the opening goal.

Rangers looked dangerous on their soirees forward but the new-look PNE defence held firm.

In the final minute of the half Gordon put a header just wide and Evans just sliced a good chance and whilst the score was 0-0 at the break it’s fair to say North End certainly won the first half on points.

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QPR started the second half with a bit more gusto and the first chance of the half fell to Charlie Austin.

A Cunningham shot and two efforts from Scott Sinclair saw North End once again have the better of things without rattling the onion bag.

We had a shout for a penalty with 25 minutes to go but replays showed the Rangers defender playing the ball and not Alan Browne.

Iversen then saved a shot from Austin which bounced to safety but it was one of the few efforts on target for the visitors, who looked happy enough in the final quarter of the game to settle for the point they started with.

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Barkhuizen came on with 10 minutes to go for man of the match Anthony Gordon and late on Riis and Johnson replaced Evans and Potts.

It was Alex Neil’s final throw of the dice to grab the winner but it was all to no avail and the matched fizzled out into the draw that it looked like being for most of the game.

So the rot is stopped with a hard-working draw and whilst it doesn’t do much for our absolutely abysmal home record, it at least edges us a point nearer safety with 14 games to go.

I thought that Anthony Gordon and Ched Evans were outstanding for North End the only frustration being how far Evans had to come back to get the ball in the area that Potts should have been patrolling.

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Gordon is an obvious talent and although the lad was tiring when he was taken off, he was the one player on the pitch who looked the most likely to break the deadlock in a game that will probably not live long in the memory once the season is over.

Forty points on the board and probably another 12 required to make absolutely certain of Championship football again next season.

A win against the Terriers on Saturday would certainly ease the pressure at Deepdale but if PNE slip up we will, once again, be starting to look at where those 12 points are coming from.

We are okay at the moment but the soon we get to 50-plus the better.