"It wasn't the best of free-kicks!": Andrew Hughes believes Millwall goal shows things are turning in Preston's favour

Preston North End defender Andrew Hughes isn't afraid to admit that his goal against Millwall wasn't the best strike of his career.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 2:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 3:48 pm
Andrew Hughes is congratulated on his goal against Millwall

But the left back believes the deflected effort in the 3-2 win last time out shows just how PNE’s luck is changing ahead of their trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

A hefty deflection was needed to take his low effort from distance beyond Lions keeper Jordan Archer and in at Deepdale on Saturday.

The goal was key in that it handed the Lilywhites a two-goal cushion that they ultimately needed.

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Andrew Hughes is congratulated on his goal against Millwall

It was also on the strange side, not just because there was more than a hint of fortune about it, but because it was taken from a pretty much identical spot to where Hughes had scored his only other PNE goal – in the 3-2 home defeat against West Bromwich Albion back in September.

“I’ll be the first to say and will be really honest – it wasn’t the best of free-kicks,” Hughes said.

“But I don’t care, it’s gone in.

“I think if it was on the other side, Paul Gallagher would have probably taken it – he has first dibs.

“But he asked me if I fancied it and it was in a similar position to the West Bromwich game so I stepped up and it’s gone in.

“It was so close to where the West Brom one was that it would have been silly if I hadn’t taken it again.

“A few weeks ago that probably wouldn’t have gone in for us but with the run we’re on at the minute, they go in.

“It’s that little rub of the green that you need.”

No matter how it went in, Hughes’ goal continued PNE’s fine run in the Championship.

The three points against the Lions was a fourth win in six games, with North End having moved up to 15th and closer to the play-off places than the relegation zone ahead facing the Owls at Hillsborough this weekend.

“It’s only one defeat in 12 and we were talking the other day in the dressing room about how we’re starting to pick up wins instead of draws,” said the left back.

“As long as we can keep doing that then we’ll start looking up the table.

“At the start of this little run we weren’t getting beaten but there were a few draws.

“We were looking at the table after games and we hadn’t really gone anywhere. But when you’re winning consecutive games you’re constantly looking up.

“Now is the time to be starting to put a run together.

“If you can go into that second half of the season on a good run then anything can happen.”