Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka felt his side should have been well clear before Louis Moult scored Preston’s decisive goal at the City Ground.
North End were on the back foot at times but got their noses in front on 56 minutes before battling hard for a 1-0 win on Saturday.
Forest created plenty of openings, especially in the first half, but only really stretched Declan Rudd late on with the PNE ‘keeper equal to a Daryl Murphy header.
“I think the only thing we missed was scoring goals,” Karanka said.
“In the first half in particular, we played really well and we should have been winning 2-0 or 3-0 by half-time, if not by more.
“But we did not play the same in the second half; we did not play in the way that we should have done.
“I think we need to learn from this. If we want to win games we need to score goals and be more clinical.
“With the quality we have up front, we need to score goals and finish games off as soon as possible.”