Tim Mercer's PNE fans' panel verdict: Welcome return to winning ways

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An important win for Preston on a cold Deepdale afternoon ended the winless run of seven games and its meagre return of only three points.

This is the North End and, in true North End fashion, our beloved team left myself and all around me biting our nails at the end!

From cruising at 3-1 up, we conceded a second to Coventry in the 82nd minute.

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Visibly lifted, the Sky Blues kept up the pressure with wave after wave of attack for the remaining 15 minutes or so, courtesy of six minutes-plus of added time.

Alan Browne was Tim Mercer's man of the match on Saturday (photo: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)Alan Browne was Tim Mercer's man of the match on Saturday (photo: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)
Alan Browne was Tim Mercer's man of the match on Saturday (photo: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)
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Boss reacts to three points

Having thrown away three points at the death in the last home game, it was difficult to bear and was a huge relief as the final whistle was blown.

Preston started the game brightly, with three changes bringing Mads Frökjaer, Kian Best and Milutin Osmajic into the starting line-up.

With a section of the fanbase frustrated at a clearly talented footballer like Frökjaer often sitting on the bench, manager Ryan Lowe was forced to explain the situation in the pre-match build-up.

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This fan was willing to accept Lowe’s implication of him needing to do the ‘other’ side of the game in the non-stop hurly burly of the Championship.

However, I was pleased to see him start and he did himself no harm here.

It was also pleasing to see Kian Best forcing his way back in.

This kid has a magic left foot in terms of delivery, with at least three sticking in my memory this time around – and with two of them making a significant contribution to the equaliser and second goal before half-time.

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He also continued to improve in coping with attackers who are far stronger and faster than anything he will find in reserve team football.

With Osmajic rising magnificently to plant a lovely floating cross from Liam Millar into the net for Preston’s third, Lowe could feel justified in his team selection.

Millar had a fine match overall, looking a threat whenever he scampered down the left wing but, for me, the man of the match was captain Alan Browne.

He was back to his best, breaking up play and moving the ball on in clever ways. More of that please, Alan.