Preston North End player column: Andrew Hughes on the defeat to Liverpool and the importance of the Luton game

Our game against Liverpool was one to look back on with a mix of emotions but, the result apart, I felt it was a positive experience.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 4:45 pm

The first half was good in terms of us creating some good chances and we should have gone in at half-time at least 1-0- up.

We were still right in the game at that point, ready to push on in the second half.

Liverpool’s movement going forward when they had the ball was good.

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Andrew Hughes picks the ball out of the net after Preston North End concede the second goal against Liverpool at Deepdale

I played against Harvey Blair in the first half, a young lad who has done very well by all accounts there.

There were others in the team with more experience who had played in the Champions League final.

I thought their first goal was a good finish, I know it came off the lad’s shin but he got across the front well and knew what he was doing in steering it past Declan Rudd.

The second goal was lucky in that the ball could have gone anywhere beforehand.

On another night the cross from the left-back could have hit the bar and bounced into Dec’s hands.

Or the cross could have come into the goalmouth and landed on my head for me to clear it away.

As it was, the ball hit the bar, landed at the feet of Neco Williams and even his cross clipped off one of us.

Fair play to Divock Origi for the finish, you don’t see too many like that.

What was really good on Wednesday night was to see the ground full, I thought the atmosphere was really good.

My family came up for the game and they thought it was most they had seen Deepdale rocking for a good while.

We quickly move on now in readiness to play Luton Town on Saturday. Let’s not beat around the bush, we need to win the game, put three points on the board. Draws are no good to us at the moment.

We can take heart from the Liverpool game in many of the things we did.

We could possibly have moved the ball a bit better but in terms of defending as a team, I thought we did that very well.

My dad told me after the game that he noticed at 1-0 Liverpool had Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino getting ready to come on as subs, so they must have been worried to do that.

As it was, the second goal went in and they sat down again, with a couple of the younger lads coming on for the last few minutes.

From a personal point of view, it’s good to be back having a run of games because I missed a couple of matches before the international break. I injured my big toe playing against Birmingham.

I went up for a header with Troy Deeney, I landed first and his heel came down on my foot – the stud on his boot going into my toe.

It ripped all the skin away near the nail and for a few days after, it was too painful to get my boot on.

At half-time I had two pain-killing jabs to get me through the second half.

It’s a really weird feeling by the way, when you can’t feel your big toe and you are playing a game of football.

A mixture of adrenaline and the jabs got me through at Birmingham but once they wore off it was painful.

I sound like a bit of a baby complaining about a toe injury but believe you me, it was very sore!

The toenail is still hanging in there but at some point it will drop off.

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