Paying public deserve so much better says Preston North End Fans’ Panel’s John Smith

After what I considered to be less than convincing performances in the three friendlies I had seen against League One opposition, I was not over-optimistic before the game about how we would fare in our opening game against last seasons League One champions.
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However with the fans in good voice after an enforced 518-day absence from their home stadium, these fears temporarily evaporated when Emil Riis slid in at the back post to give us the lead.

It was just the sort of confidence booster we needed but instead of building on the great start we sat back and gave the The Tigers a chance to get their claws into the game. And they soon inflicted their first wound before the interval when they cancelled out our early lead.

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We were being run ragged on both flanks and it was clear that our system was not working.

North End’s Jordan Storey competing with Hull City’s Mallik WilksNorth End’s Jordan Storey competing with Hull City’s Mallik Wilks
North End’s Jordan Storey competing with Hull City’s Mallik Wilks

But following a double substitution at half-time and a switching of formation it looked liked we had solved the problem as we dominated the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Tom Barkhuizen had two chances to restore our lead but this purple patch did not last with Hull going on to boss the game.

Our visiting Yorkshire cousins in the away stand gleefully sang “ You’re being mauled by The Tigers” which certainly rang true on this occasion with three second-half goals sealing what was an embarrassing home defeat.

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At the end of the January transfer window Peter Ridsdale said that” in the summer we can take stock of where we are as a football club and were in a great position financially then to decide what we need to do on a permanent basis to top up the squad.”

With the window due to shut soon and having gone into this new campaign with an almost identical squad to last season, the paying fans deserve so much better than Saturday’s demoralising showing against a newly promoted side.