Two points from a possible six in back-to-back home games is not what Preston North End would have wanted when they got back into action after the international break.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 27th November 2016, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:41 am
Preston North End's Alex John-Baptiste battles with Burton Albion's Lloyd Dyer
Preston North End's Alex John-Baptiste battles with Burton Albion's Lloyd Dyer

But draws against Wolves and Burton Albion have stalled PNE’s progress slightly, although a run of one defeat in 10 Championship games is very decent going.

You could have looked at the 0-0 draw with Wolves last week and understood it, with Paul Lambert being in charge of them for the first time and setting his side up not to lose.

If North End had then won against Burton, it would have been four points from two games and happy days.

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Unfortunately, it was not to be, with Preston not at their best it has to be said.

Fair play to Burton, they started the game well and could easily have been further ahead than they were.

A positive from the game is perhaps that North End still got themselves an equaliser without playing well.

The second half was better but they just lacked that bit of creativity to score a second.

It might have been a totally different game had Preston got their noses in front in the first half.

Had that happened, Burton would have been forced to chase an equaliser and space might have opened-up on the counter attack.

As it was, Burton got the first goal and were able to sit in, drop deeper.

At least North End got a point out of the game – every team has an off day but you’ve still got to try and get the best out of it.

While the last two games have been drawn, you have got to applaud the run which PNE are on in the Championship.

They’ve really turned things round since the poor start they made and in the wake of that 5-0 hammering at Brentford in September.

I’ve said it before, but the way football currently is, some clubs would have changed manager after the start North End had.

But credit to the board and owner, they backed Grayson and have seen results improve massively.

A key stage of the season is coming up – December and early January.

There are seven matches between next Saturday and January 2, the chance to put plenty of points on the board if they maintain the consistency they’ve shown in this last two or three months.

Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough next week will be a big test.

Wednesday were beaten finalists in the play-offs last season and have spent big to try and go one step further this time.

Then it is Blackburn at home which I’m sure will be a keenly-contested derby in front of the cameras.

There are three games over Christmas and New Year, the last of those being the return clash with Burton.

If North End can come out of that run which a healthy number of points, it will set them up nicely for the second half of the season.

One thing you can say about the Championship is that it is anything but predictable – at times it is absolutely crazy.

Who would have thought Blackburn were capable of beating Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday?

Preston upset the apple cart a few times in October, beating sides near the top or drawing with them.

I believe it is the hardest league in Europe to get out of because the prize of playing in the Premier League is so big.

It is competitive, a slog, with the majority of clubs capable of beating one another.