Simon Grayson felt it was the right time for Stevie May to return as the Preston striker made his comeback against Brentford after nearly 15 months out.
The Scottish front man was a late substitute in the 4-2 win over the Bees on Saturday, the 24-year-old not having played since suffering a serious knee injury at Fulham back in November 2015.
It was nearly a fairytale comeback for May who raced through on goal in stoppage time only to be denied by Daniel Bentley.
“He’s worked extremely hard and been on the bench,” said Grayson.
“There hasn’t really been the right occasion to put him on but on Saturday it was.
“He got through one-on-one which would have been the icing on the cake.”
Another impressive cameo came from Tom Barkhuizen, the former Morecambe winger making his second PNE appearance as he replaced Callum Robinson for the final 20 minutes.
“Barkhuizen really affected the game,” said Grayson.
“I thought he was outstanding both with the ball and without it.
“He worked extremely hard for the team.
“What he can do is carry the ball with pace.
“He can do the other side of it as well helping his full back out.
“It’s nice to have options,
“We’ve got players out injured but others have come in and done extremely well.”