John Roper’s Preston North End Fans’ Panel verdict: Victory came at the just the right time
Two second-half goals from Patrick Bauer and Emil Riis saw North End turn this game around after going into the half-time break a goal down.
Tyler Walker’s effort just before the interval saw North End booed off by a small minority at Deepdale.
But a second-half resurgence saw Frankie McAvoy’s team claim all three points in what I thought was a very big game for North End and a very big win.
The first half was not dissimilar to the game against Derby at the weekend with PNE looking very one dimensional and not really being able to break Coventry down and make any impact on their goal.
The Sky Blues played some neat attractive football without really putting Daniel Iversen under a massive amount of pressure.
The goal for the visitors came at a really bad time for us but whatever the manager said in the dressing room at half-time, we came out much more positively and deservedly went on to win the game with the second half performance.
Two changes for North End from the team held to a draw at the weekend, with Scott Sinclair coming in for Tom Barkhuizen and Ben Whiteman replacing Ryan Ledson in the centre of the park.
Preston probably had their best chance of the first half when a header after four minutes from Storey was saved well by the Coventry keeper.
The visitors took control early in the game and while they were not piling pressure on North End, we were playing much more in our own half than we should have been.
Iversen was called into action a couple of times and punched well.
At the other end it was very much half-chances for Preston and just when it looked like we would go in level at the break the visitors took the lead.
Walker dummied to shoot and found himself in space before firing an unstoppable shot past Iversen.
No changes for either side at the start of the second half but finally North End got going and started to take the game to Coventry.
We seemed to be pressing much higher and our passing was slicker and quicker as the crowd began to get behind the boys.
Preston had three decent chances before Bauer rose majestically to head home Whiteman’s cross just before the hour mark and North End were back in business.
Within 10 minutes of the opener PNE were in the lead ,when a quickly taken free-kick saw Alan Browne put Riis through in the inside-left position and after cutting inside, the big Dane smashed the ball into the net much to the delight of the North End fans in a crowd of 10,837.
McAvoy brought on Barkhuizen, Potts and latterly Murphy and, to be fair, North End kept their shape very well in the last 15 minutes of the game to claim the three points and a much-needed victory.
Just how important this win was for North End and Frankie McAvoy we will probably never know, but it came at just the right time after a series of draws and a defeat in London a couple of weeks ago.
It was very much a game of two halves and I suppose Preston were a tad unfortunate to be one down at the break but Coventry just took their chance well.
The second period was much more like it and North End showed what they can do when they put their mind to it.
It is probably the best 45 minutes we have played for a while, although that is not saying much, but it will bring some much-needed confidence ahead of the battle of Bloomfield on Saturday afternoon.
Make no mistake, it will be a tough game at the Seaside and we will have to be at our best to triumph.
As big games go I can’t really think of any game bigger than this if you support Blackpool or Preston.