We are the division's whipping boys at moment - Preston fan John Roper frustrated by Cardiff defeat

The optimists amongst the Preston faithful would point to a couple of penalty shouts and two glaring misses near the end to try and add some mitigation to a dismal result for North End.

By John Roper
Sunday, 28th June 2020, 10:02 am
Updated Sunday, 28th June 2020, 10:04 am
Preston players look dejected after loss to Cardiff
Preston players look dejected after loss to Cardiff

I won’t bother, personally, after sitting in the front room of Roper Towers, feeling more than frustrated at North End’s general play in a game which was, supposedly, between two well-matched sides.

I didn’t think Cardiff were world beaters to be honest but they looked like a team who could score goals and quite frankly we didn’t.

Far too often we got close to the final third but produced absolutely nothing in terms of a cutting edge ball or an incisive moment that would have changed the game.

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Yes, we did well to equalise quickly but I never thought we would go on and win the game and so it proved as the Cardiff subs had the sort of impact that we rarely see from the changes at Deepdale.

We actually started off the better with an early Tom Barkhuizen shot and a pretty good penalty shout when Scott Sinclair was clipped in the box with the referee less than 10 yards away.

Mr Langford decided the contact was not enough to point to the spot and I feel that the Bluebirds got away with one there.

Cardiff had more of the possession and in fairness just about looked the more likely to score in the first half as North End’s midfield huffed and puffed and gave Jayden Stockley very little to work on at centre forward.

I thought Stockley was ineffective in this game if I am being honest and North End’s problem with a lack of a 20-goals a season man is there for all to see.

There were half chances at both ends during a pretty tepid first half with both sides looking solid enough at the back without ever looking like they were going to cause the opposition a great deal of trouble at the other end.

No changes at the break from either manager and I felt that North End had missed a trick not getting Paul Gallagher into the game after the break for he at least could play that one decisive ball that could have changed the game.

We looked the marginally better side up to the drinks break but it was the visitors who set the ball rolling when Ralls headed home easily at the back post after the ball had been recycled from a free kick. To be fair to the lads they had evened things up within four minutes when Sean Maguire put a ball in and Alan Browne’s shot fell to Johnson who reacted the quickest and scored.

I was hoping at this point that North End would now go on and win the game but it was the visitors who went on to win easily with a poorly defended goal from Mendez-Laing and a late third from Glatzel.

However in between time David Nugent then Josh Harrop missed absolute sitters which could have changed things dramatically but their respective efforts were appalling misses under the circumstances.

Just quite where we go from here I am not sure and I think the TV viewing may have changed my thoughts on a couple of players who committed the same errors time after time in the game.

I certainly think that the manager did not react quickly enough and seemed more intent on not losing the game than winning it.

Our tactics have been well and truly sussed and there appears to be no coherent plan B for when things need changing on the field. Four points from the last seven league games tells its own story and we can count ourselves lucky we got plenty of points early in the season.

We are the whipping boys in this division at the moment and it’s very hard to take after two seasons of being right up there but falling away dramatically at the end. Seven games to go and on the evidence of this performance I really don’t see where our next win is coming from.

This was pretty dismal stuff by Championship standards and the natives are getting slightly restless.