Sean Gregan's exclusive column

Had Preston come away with a draw from Huddersfield on Good Friday it might not have made any difference to their play-off hopes but it would have given them a lot of satisfaction against a very good team.

Sunday, 16th April 2017, 1:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:39 pm
Huddersfield Town's Elias Kachunga heads the ball while being closely watched by Paul Huntington and Daniel Johnson

It was a sickener for them to concede a penalty in the 96th minute and it did look a dodgy one to say the least.

A similar thing happened to me when I was playing for Oldham at Millwall a few years ago.

After our goalkeeper had taken a goal kick, one of their strikers got in my face and I gave him a bit of a shove.

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The linesman spotted it, the referee gave a penalty and Oldham lost 1-0.

It was galling for PNE to lose so late on this occasion against a side who will be in the play-offs and one of the favourites to win them.

They took the lead, were then pegged back and went behind, but North End showed the character to equalise.

The play-offs are gone now, realistically they went the week before at Leeds, so trips to Yorkshire have not been kind have they?

I stand by my view that it has been a very good season for North End, regardless of them dropping off the pace for the top six.

Simon Grayson changed the style of play this season and we’ve seen plenty more goals from them.

On the flip side, the goals against column is not as healthy as it was last year.

Get the balance right and you finish in the top two but having a budget the size of Newcastle helps that.

They have got a platform to build on for next season and with some business in the summer, have every chance of making another push.

Grayson and the board have been shrewd with their business, bringing in the lads from Ireland and from the lower divisions.

Aiden McGeady perhaps turned out to be the deal of the season and fingers crossed, he will be here again next term.

The division will be just as tough next time, even with Newcastle and Brighton being out of the way.

Aston Villa could well be up there, in Steve Bruce they have a manager who knows this level of football.

Norwich City and Derby County I guess will be strong after both under-achieved in a big way this time.

It is Norwich next for PNE at Deepdale and hopefully Grayson’s men can put the away defeats behind them and hit back with a victory.

I’ve got some decent memories of playing against Norwich for Preston – my long range goal down at their place and a couple of good wins at home.

We once beat them 4-0 and scored all the goals in the first half.

The season before that we won 1-0 with Bjarki Gunnlaugsson scoring in stoppage-time.

Steve Basham had broken his leg the match before, and we celebrated by bringing his shirt on to the pitch.