Preston North End midfielder Ali McCann pleased to secure two Championship wins in a week after Queens Park Rangers result

Midfielder Ali McCann was happy that Preston North End had achieved their goals for the week having beaten Queens Park Rangers 2-1 on Saturday but admits they must start games better.

By Tom Sandells
Sunday, 10th April 2022, 8:00 am

Goals from Emil Riis and Cameron Archer gave the home side the victory, with Andre Gray’s late penalty ruining their clean sheet.

North End were not at the races in the opening half an hour of their Championship contest with the London side and were lucky not to be behind.

Goalkeeper Daniel Iversen came to the Lilywhites’ rescue, not for the first time, and kept things at 0-0.

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Preston North End's Ali McCann at Deepdale.

That did just enough to give PNE a platform to work their way back into the game having not been able to maintain possession, though Alan Browne did break through before seeing his chipped effort thwarted.

That was until Emil Riis stole in at the near post to turn Andrew Hughes’ cross into the far corner – pulling up in his celebration and being withdrawn shortly after.

PNE got more control in the game after that and particularly after half time looked every bit the deserving winners.

“It was a good result in the end, another three points on the board and we move on again,” McCann said.

"Two wins in a week is what we set out to do and it's massive for us. The whole first half was below what we were expecting and it needs to be a lot better than that but we got the goal after about half an hour and kicked off from there.

"We need to start games better than that, I'd say. But three points on the board is what you're after and we've come away with that.”

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Player Ratings: Preston North End 2-1 Queens Park Rangers

It is six points in a week for PNE but will feel like much more than that given that the first three points came against bitter rivals Blackpool.

North End certainly have plenty to thank goalkeeper Iversen for from Saturday, as he made six saves and was very unlucky not to get a clean sheet.

Gray’s penalty as one of the last kicks of the game robbed him of that but his performance was magnificent, off the back of not having a shot to save on Tuesday.

The on-loan man came in for praise from teammate Ali McCann who feels that the Dane gives his side added confidence knowing they can rely on his shot-stoppiong prowess.

He said: “Emil's goal was good, it was probably the first time in the first half that we actually strung a pattern of play together.

"Hughesy went down the outside and crossed it in and it was a good finish from Emil.

"That sort of put us in good stead to go and build a bit more and we managed to get a second goal to kill the game.

"Unfortunately the goal at the end prevented Dan from getting his clean sheet but we'll take the three points.

"He's always brilliant, the amount of good performances he's put in throughout the season is brilliant.

"Having him behind us just gives us that extra bit of confidence. You can't ask anything more from a goalkeeper.”