John Smith's PNE Fans' Panel verdict: The bump in the road has turned into a giant sinkhole

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After picking up four points on the road Ryan Lowe had spoken about small building blocks saying that our team had just come out of a big bump in the road.

However the humiliating 5-1 defeat by Watford on Saturday left me feeling that these building blocks are in need of reinforcing with a bit of steel and that the bump in the road has unfortunately turned into a giant sinkhole.

There was no hint of this shocking result in the first half which I thought was one of the most entertaining and enjoyable ones I had seen this season at Deepdale

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It could easily have been 3-3 at the interval and I was pleased when we deservedly took the lead after creating a few decent chances .The attacking football we played was also pleasing on the eye and at that point had lifted the crowd into creating some atmosphere in the stands which had felt a bit flat at some of our recent home games.

Preston North End's Milutin Osmajic battles with Watford's Jamal LewisPreston North End's Milutin Osmajic battles with Watford's Jamal Lewis
Preston North End's Milutin Osmajic battles with Watford's Jamal Lewis

Following this goal though we then frustratingly appeared to sit back which allowed Watford who always looked very quick on the attack to come at us and eventually grab an equaliser just before the break.This goal meant that we had now not kept a single clean sheet at home this season having only kept four in our last 32 league matches which for me is a very worrying statistic.

From the minute the second half kicked off it seemed like "The Grinch" had made another unwelcome December visit to Deepdale in the form of a second half defensive capitulation which left my festive spirit well and truly dampened and made Deepdale become a very depressing stadium for a home fan to be sat in .

This was not the case for the away fans who prior to this fixture had only seen their team score just seven away goals this season .They rejoiced by singing that half of their team had "put the ball in the Preston net" and also advised the shell shocked hard core faithful who remained in the virtually empty Deepdale stadium that we would have been better off going Christmas shopping.On reflection after watching this abysmal second half showing it might not have been such a bad idea.

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Watfords first goal came as a result of several players being pulled out of position as we persisted with our "Keystone Cops" centre kick routine. The move which involves around seven of our players running down the same touchline to wait for a high ball to be delivered is like watching dinner time games in the primary school playgrounds where all the young kids just run towards the the ball .More often than not this move has seen us lose possession almost every time it has been tried .In my opinion it needs ditching as soon as possible just like we have done in playing out from the back in our own penalty area.

At 3-1 manager Lowe tried to wave his magic wand with a quadruple substitution. However it wasnt a case of "izzy wizzy lets get busy" as they produced no magic tricks whatsoever and I left the stadium at the end of the game feeling like Sooty's owner does when the glove puppett has repeatedly squirted him in the face with a water pistol .