John Smith's PNE Fans' Panel verdict: Fans’ pre-season optimism won’t last long

My feelings following our opening-day draw at Wigan depend whether you see a half-full pint glass of beer or one that is halfempty.

On the positive side the stalemate earned us a hard-fought point from our first trip on the road.

But on the flip-side I also thought that there was room for some improvement on our performance which felt a bit flat at times, particularly in the second half.

We started well and were on top during the first quarter of the game.

Preston North End's Daniel Johnson battles with Wigan Athletic's Tendayi Darikwa

But then the newly promoted home side found their feet to come into the match.

Moments before half-time, debutant Troy Parrott had the vociferous travelling support squawking when his one-on-one chance was saved by the keeper, who then also saved the follow-up from Emil Riis when he too had seemed destined to score.

The second half was abit scrappy and at times it felt like I was watching the Dog and Duck playing a match against Cloggers United.

In a half short of clear-cut opportunities for both sides it was the unfortunate Parrott who had our only real chance but after being played through, he fired his shot from just inside the area wide of the post.

In a bid to make a breakthrough, manager Ryan Lowe replaced Parrot with Ched Evans.

But you would not have had time to listen to the full version of Don McLean’s American Pie before his time on the field ended when he got sent off for a reckless challenge.

It was a real centre-forward’s-type of tackle but his cause was certainly not helped by his opponent rolling around on the floor – like my cat does when it wants a tummy tickle – in front of a baying home crowd.

This changed the dynamics of the game for the last 10 minutes.

But although Wigan pressed we were always comfortable in managing to hold on to the point.

It was only the first game of the season but exiting the stadium it felt like some of the over-hyped pre-season optimism had disappeared.

And I was left feeling that if only we had that extra bit of quality on the pitch, in the form of a Cameron Archer or a Callum Robinson, then we might have taken all three points from an ordinary looking Wigan side.

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