Sean Gregan’s exclusive Preston North End column: Better to take the ‘glass-half-full’ approach

Tom Barkhuizen tries to beat Rotherham United keeper Marek Rodak after profiting on an error late in the first half on Saturday
Tom Barkhuizen tries to beat Rotherham United keeper Marek Rodak after profiting on an error late in the first half on Saturday

You can put whatever spin you like really on Preston North End’s draw with Rotherham at Deepdale on Saturday.

You could come away and think that it’s two points dropped or you could say it’s five unbeaten and North End are putting a little run together.

I’m sure the glass if half full with manager Alex Neil.

You don’t want to be dropping points against the teams around you, whether that’s at the top or bottom of the table. The manager will be dressing it up in that sort of way I’m sure.

The most disappointing thing will be that they took the lead against one of the 
so-called weaker teams in the division.

That’s what makes the Championship what it is, though.

Everyone fights until the last minute for everything.

Going 1-0 up at home, PNE would have expected to see the game out.

It is a fifth game without defeat, though, and you move on to the next one and try and make it six and seven unbeaten and get on a really good run.

They are more than capable of doing that because their confidence will be coming back now.

They proved last year they can go anywhere and pick up results.

It’s amazing what confidence does for players and a team as a whole – if you could bottle it you’d soon be a rich man.

Players will take more of a chance passing it forwards or try something a bit different which you don’t do when you’ve been losing games, you play within yourself a bit.

You know if you make that mistake it will cost your team when points have been so hard to come by and the stakes are so high.

They’ve got momentum now and are on the right track after the bad start. I’m sure that will have been the team talk after the game.

You try and pick the positives out of the performance and that will be happening all week in the build-up to Ipswich on Saturday.

Paul Lambert has gone in as the new manager and you used to say that it would be the worst time to play a team.

I’m not sure that counts now. A number of managers in recent seasons have taken over clubs and we haven’t seen the traditional ‘bounce’.

The crowd will be up for it though and a few fans who have been disillusioned might come back and have another look. The players will certainly be trying because it’s a clean slate, especially for those who weren’t getting a look in under the previous manager.

But they are bottom of the league for a reason.

Preston are on a decent little run and will go there knowing if they start the game well the fans might turn.

It’s an interesting one with Lambert going in there.

A few fans won’t like the fact he’s a former Norwich manager. He had success earlier on in his career but couldn’t keep Stoke up.

One things for sure – they’ll be dogged and will be working really hard ahead of the weekend.