Simon Grayson felt that Preston North End’s performance in the Deepdale draw with Burton provided plenty of things to work on in training this week.
The first-half display was described by Grayson as the poorest this season, with PNE fortunate to still be in the game as the Brewers came out of the blocks so impressively.
He was much happier with the second-half show, although somewhat frustrated by aspects of their play in the final third.
North End now head to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, that marking the start of a busy December programme.
“We’ve got work to do on the training ground to get ready for that one, things to look at from the Burton game,” said Grayson.
“In the first half we were sloppy, we could have been two or even three goals behind by half-time.
“The first 30 minutes or so were poor, then we started to get back in it before half-time.
“We were too static, we played 4-4-2 but it got more like 4-2-4 at times because the wide players were right up against their full-backs.
“We didn’t want that, we wanted them to have more freedom and have a licence to roam a bit more.
“I thought we were too direct, we played into the big centre-half Ben Turner’s hands at times.
“In the second half we were much better, everything that we weren’t in the first half, we were in the second.
“We had a really good spell when Burton could not get out of their own half and really we needed to score in that spell to make things count.
“If you were to pull us up on anything in the second half, it was that we over-indulged a bit at times.
“We asked the players to express themselves and make things happen but a few times we were taking that extra touch when what was needed was one or two touch football around the edge of the box.
“Our goal showed what we were capable of, we moved the ball at a good tempo.”
Burton hit the bar and forced Chris Maxwell into a great reflex save inside the first five minutes.
They took a 23rd minute lead through Jackson Irvine after failing to clear their lines properly at a corner.
Preston’s equaliser came in added-on time at the end of the first half, Callum Robinson claiming the last touch to a Greg Cunningham cross.
Jordan Hugill was also ready to claim it, with him, Robinson and a Burton defender all in close attendance.
Said Grayson: “I was just delighted to see the ball in the back of the net, I haven’t got a clue who it went in off.
“I’ll let the lads fight over who is claiming it.
“The way we had played in the first half hour or so, we had got away with it to be going in level at half-time.
“We’ll take the point and add it to our collection but it is disappointing to have only taken two points from the six on offer in these last two home games.”