Preston North End’s Ali McCann reflects on what might have been after Forest defeat

Ali McCann was left disappointed after Preston North End were soundly beaten by Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
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Two goals from Lewis Grabban either side of a Jack Colback volley sunk Frankie McAvoy’s side, who barely laid a glove on their hosts.

The Lilywhites went into the clash full of confidence after beating league leaders Bournemouth 2-1 on Wednesday but they could not follow it up.

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North End’s best chance of the game fell to Brad Potts inside the first half but he cleared the crossbar – and then some – from less than 12 yards out.

Ali McCann in action at the City GroundAli McCann in action at the City Ground
Ali McCann in action at the City Ground

PNE now face a two-week wait to put things right as the international break begins and McCann feels they need to dust themselves down.

“It’s a disappointing afternoon for us,” he said. “It’s not what we came to do, especially after the joy of Wednesday night.

“We just have to dust ourselves down and we have two weeks off, we just need to go again after the international break.

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“There wasn’t much between the two teams, they’re two poor goals from our perspective and I think we can deal with them a lot better.

“But these things happen, it’s disappointing because there wasn’t much in the game but finding ourselves 2-0 down gives us a mountain to climb in the second half and we couldn’t pull it back.”

Grabban’s opener at the City Ground came from the spot but McCann feels North End should also have had a penalty awarded.

Emil Riis was felled in the area but referee Simon Hooper waved appeals away, with the score still at 0-0.

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McCann said: “For Forest’s penalty, he’s come from behind and there wasn’t a lot of contact I don’t think, but the referee has made a decision and you can’t dwell on that.

“I feel like we should have had one 15 or 20 minutes earlier with Emil but there’s nothing you can do now.

“It was a slow start, we didn’t create many chances.

“We had a good chance with Potts at the end of the first half and if that goes in it’s a different game.

“We probed in the second half but we didn’t have that cutting edge which wasn’t good on our part.”