Robinson hits back at PNE doubters

Matchwinner Callum Robinson in action against Bristol City at Ashton Gate
Matchwinner Callum Robinson in action against Bristol City at Ashton Gate
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Ashton Gate hero Callum Robinson hit back at Preston North End’s critics after fuelling PNE’s victory over league leaders Bristol City.

Robinson’s 28th minute tap-in sealed a 1-0 victory over Steve Cotterill’s League One table toppers and ended North End’s three match losing streak.

The 19-year-old loanee believes no-one can doubt PNE’s promotion credentials after upsetting the odds to beat City on their home patch.

He said: “We are the first team to win here since last February. That proves we worked hard, played well and that we have got the ability to get promoted this year.

“I don’t think a lot of people would have thought we’d have come here and got the win but we did.”

City’s 16 match unbeaten run was ended by second-placed Swindon last weekend and PNE heaped more misery on Cotterill as his high-flying Robins suffered their second successive defeat.

Third-placed North End are now breathing down City’s neck as they closed the gap at the top to just two points.

And the young striker – who is on-loan from Premier League outfit Aston Villa until January 3 – believes the result was just the tonic.

He said: “I think we needed this game, it was a great way to bounce back.

“I’m really happy with the result. We went to Bristol on the back of three losses in the league and we knew we had to go there and perform.

“The lads are confident now and we can move on to tomorrow’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Clash against Oldham with confidence.

“We want another three points next Saturday and we want to go on another eight match winning streak.”

The back post tap-in was Robinson’s fifth of the season and a carbon copy of his debut goal against Leyton Orient last month.

The youngster revealed the similar nature of his two league goals is no coincidence but a key component in PNE boss Simon Grayson’s masterplan.

He said: “At the start of the season back at Villa I was trying to get in at the back post and get in the box more.

“And coming here we do it all the time. The gaffer tells me I need to get in to the back post to get the little tap-ins like I did on Saturday.

“It’s obviously working, I’ve scored two back post tap-ins now.

“It proves that I’m learning and knowing the positions and movement I need to get into the box and score.”

Chris Humphrey teed the striker up at Ashton Gate just like he did at Orient and the young striker praised the winger for reading his movement.

He said: “Chris set my first league goal up and he set my second league goal up today.

“He’s got the ability, he’s seen my run and he waited for me to do my movement and I just ran to the back post and scored.”

Robinson revealed he was asked by Grayson to defend from the front to thwart City’s roaming wing-backs.

He said: “It is probably the most defensive I’ve played since I’ve been at Preston – we all had to concentrate and stay alert all game.

“The gaffer was in my ear a bit telling me what to do. We dug in as a team. Second half they came at us and we had to grind out the result and get the three points.”