Fans given belief that this could be THE year: Supporter John Smith is excited what Preston can achieve

Daniel Johnson was my man of the match
Daniel Johnson was my man of the match

The game at St Andrew's on Saturday was not one for the football purists but the hard fought win propelled Alex Neil’s North End side up to third position – the highest position in his tenure.

Chances in the game were at a premium but once we had taken the lead midway through the half we never looked like surrendering it.

After the opening game of the season at Millwall, most pundits would have predicted that we would have as much chance of finishing in a top two place as a three legged horse would have of winning the Grand National.

However, after Saturday’s result the bar has been raised and our first away win of the season sent the travelling faithful home in a jubilant mood via the odd pit stop in the local hostelries close to New Street Station. For me Daniel Johnson just shaded the man of the match award ahead of Patrick Bauer.

The German once again put in a magnificent performance and his no nonsense approach to his defensive duties is fast making him a popular figure with the North End fans.

Last season we conceded a lot of goals from set pieces and corners but since the arrival of Bauer things have tightened up in that department and Bauer provides the perfect foil for Ben Davies a player fast becoming a North End veteran despite his youthful years.

On Saturday once again the formation was rotated with the substitutions and our manager Alex Neil proved that he possesses the tactical nous needed to grind out results at this level.

This is the highest position North End have been in since the days of Paul Simpson over a decade ago but under Neil, who I believe is one of the best managers in this division, anything is possible and unlike our times under Simpson when we faded away as Donna Summer sang maybe “This time I know it’s for real”.