Alan Browne says Preston North End need to adapt to having target man after Jayden Stockley makes debut in Swansea draw
The Â£750,000 arrival from Exeter City led the line on his Lilywhites bow, Brad Potts also thrown straight in after his Â£1.5 million move from Barnsley.
Alex Neil’s side needed Daniel Johnson’s penalty to make sure of a point, the midfielder making no mistake from the spot on the hour after Connor Roberts had been adjudged to have handled Stockley’s cross.
Having cancelled out Courtney Baker-Richardson’s opener five minutes earlier PNE’s progress was then halted by Josh Earl’s late red card.
“I think it was a tale of two halves for us again,” said Browne.
“In the first half we were too direct.
You see the big man up there and you just want to utilise him but I think you need to ease your way in and in the second half we did that.
“The time to go long is when there’s gaps between the midfield and defence.
“That allowed us to get the big man in the game more and work off him and I think it worked quite well.
“The goal was a setback but we reacted well, got the penalty and the draw is probably a fair result in the end.”
Earl, a half-time substitute, was dismissed for the first time in his career for two bookings, the first for a foul on Nathan Dyer and second for a challenge on Mike van der Hoorn.
“The momentum was with us,” said Browne.
“We had one or two half chances but then the sending off changes the game completely again.
“I personally didn’t think it was sending off but that’s the way it goes.
“Maybe the first one was a bit clumsy but he’s just on the pitch and I didn’t think the second booking was even a foul.”
Earl’s dismissal saw the versatile Browne slot in at left back for the closing stages at Deepdale.
“That’s a first for me,” the Irishman admitted.
“I played a left-sided centre half last year but never left back.
“It was a strange one but I had to get on with it.
“At that stage it was about making sure that we didn’t concede and seeing the game out.”