Alan Browne knows result was all that mattered after Preston battle to Sheffield United win
Match-winner Alan Browne was pleased with a job well done after Preston got the win they needed at Sheffield United to take their play-off bid to the final day of the season.
The Irishman converted the rebound after Josh Harrop’s initial shot had been saved just before the hour mark as Alex Neil’s side ran out 1-0 winners.
A third victory in four games means the gap to sixth-placed Derby is two points ahead of a shoot-out for the final play-off spot next weekend.
“The gaffer came in at half-time and said ‘people aren’t going to remember the performance, they’re going to remember the result’,” said Browne.
“We knew that we needed to get the result and do everything we possibly could to take it down to the last game.
“We weren’t aware of results elsewhere, we just knew we had a job to do.
“It was different to others recently where we’ve put in really good performances and not come away with anything.
“It was just about getting the three points.”
Browne’s ninth of the season saw him react quickest to slide the ball home after Harrop’s swerving effort was only parried by Jamal Blackman.
“It might have been different if it was another player that hit it but I see Josh hitting shots like that every day in training and keepers struggle to hold onto them,” said the 23-year-old.
“I knew that he might spill it so i just had to get myself in the right area to get on the end of the rebound.”
Despite grabbing the headlines himself, Browne was keen to point to a resolute defensive display that secured the victory. PNE’s backline putting everything on the line in the closing stages to take the points back to Lancashire.
“It was good to get on the scoresheet with what turned out to be the match-winning goal,” he said.
“It was about the efforts defensively though more than anything.
“We knew it would be a case of grinding the game out and thankfully for us we did that.
“The defenders were fantastic today, putting their bodies on the line and credit to them.”
Nothing typified the defensive display more than Greg Cunningham blocking a shot from John Fleck with his face in the first half.
“It was my man that broke off me so I was thankful for that one,” Browne said with a smile.
“It summed it up for us really, Greg throwing his face in front of it, doing what he needed to do to make sure that we didn’t concede like each and every one of the boys back there.
“Clarkey (Tom Clarke) was dominant in the air when he came on as well.
“We needed everyone to dig deep and that’s what we did."