“We folded” admits Preston North End skipper Alan Browne
Alan Browne felt that Preston North End folded as they were put to the sword by newly promoted Hull City.
The Tigers ran out deserving 4-1 winners at Deepdale, despite North End taking the lead.
Emil Riis scored the opening goal of the game before Keane Lewis-Potter, Richie Smallwood, Josh Magennis and Andy Cannon sent the visitors to the top of the table.
The Lilywhites started the game strongly and were bright before taking the lead in a well-worked move that culminated in their Danish forward finding the net in his first game in front of PNE fans.
Browne felt confident going into the game but was disappointed by his team’s reaction to Hull’s emergence.
“It was a dream start, it felt like what we thought it would going into it,” he said.
“We got the early goal, took the pressure right off us and then for whatever reason, we just folded after that.
“We let them get on top. It’s not like us, to be fair, but at half-time it was still 1-1. We tried to go for it in the second half and it backfired on us.
“The goal was something we’d been working on, getting players forward, getting into the box.
“With two strikers you’ve always got a chance and you’ll always get chances but after that goal it was just, ‘Let’s sit in and let them have it now’.
“That’s not the mind-set that we need to have.
“We need to keep piling pressure on and get the second and take the game to the opponents and we didn’t do that.”
North End had back-to-back chances after changing shape at the interval.
Frankie McAvoy opted instead for a diamond 4-4-2 formation in the second half.
Browne felt they opened the half well but were left exposed.
He said: “I think we started the better of the two in the second half, for five or 10 minutes but then that was it.
“You could tell that every time we’d go forward and it broke down, they’d get into some really good areas.
“I still think the goal was sloppy.
“The second goal, the deflection, summed up the day really. A goal like that is not what you want.
“Apart from that they definitely deserved the win, they were better.”