Preston boss makes honest admission over result as Stoke City left disappointed


Stoke and Preston were unable to find the breakthrough as they played out a goalless draw at the Bet365 Stadium.

Both sides struck the woodwork with Stoke defender Harry Souttar and Preston counterpart Andrew Hughes going close after the break, but in the end the spoils were shared.

The Potters enjoyed the best of the first-half chances with Daniel Iverson saving well to keep out Josh Tymon in a one-on-one and a near own goal by Ben Whiteman.

The visitors came closest in the second half with Ched Evans and Tom Barkhuizen going close, with the best chance coming when Hughes hit the outside of the post with a sweetly hit free-kick.

Stoke played the final four minutes a man light after Soutter was dismissed for a professional foul on Alan Browne.

Player ratings

Davies: Good save at full stretch from Barkhuizen in second half. 6

Smith: Eager to get forward and corners caused problems. 6

Tymon: Back in the team on the left and had a couple of chances getting forward and a decent cross or two. 6

Chester: Second half yellow card. Important in Stoke trying to build from the back. 6

Souttar: Will wonder how he didn’t score mid-way through second half. Took responsibility to make sure Browne didn’t get into box, even if Browne chucked himself into him. 6


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Norrington-Davies: A new position on left of back three with licence to break forward – and got into brilliant position in closing stages but didn’t know what to do with it. Superb pass into final third in first half. 6

Mikel: Always available for a pass and tried to dictate the play. One left foot volley that was ambitious. 7

Clucas: Getting sharper as he comes back from hernia surgery. Almost talked himself into a second yellow in second half. 7

Powell: Brilliant cross from the right to set up Fletcher’s disallowed header. 6

Norton: Energy and pace to make defenders think. Might have had early penalty. 7

Fletcher: One square up with Greg Cunningham, another goal disallowed for offside. Still waiting for double figures. 6

Substitutes

Thompson (for Clucas, 75): Linked well with Norrington-Davies and Tymon to help Stoke probe. 6

Brown (for Norton, 75): Might have snatched a late winner after great running to pounce on poor header. 6

Vokes (for Fletcher, 79): Won a header from a long throw. 6

Not used: Gunn, Batth, Cousins, Coates, Matondo, Taylor.

What the managers said

Stoke boss Michael O’Neill: I thought the first 15 minutes, we allowed ourselves to be nullified a little bit, both teams playing the same system.

“Once we started to switch the play a bit quicker we looked a good side but we still probably didn’t do it enough.

“Going into half-time I thought we were excellent and we get into should score but we don’t, we either pick a wrong pass or we don’t get across people in the box enough.

“I also thought it was a foul on Christian Norton. The defender pushes him in the back. It’s a poor decision from the defender with Christian on the by-line and the referee missed that one as well.

“You need something at that point in time to give yourself a chance to go 1-0 up. We didn’t find it.

“In the second half, to be fair to Preston, they made it more difficult for us and we didn’t cause them enough problems with the decisions we made. We continued to play a bit in front of them, we didn’t turn the around.

“We brought Jacob on to give us that ability to get behind and he nearly did that at the end when intercepted a back pass and they did well to defend that.

“We got a little bit bogged down in the second half, we overcomplicated things a little bit and we were picked off at times. We lost the ball in some bad areas that allowed them to play the ball forward and we gave away some free-kicks on the edge of the box that gave them a little bit of belief.

“We’re disappointed not to take more than one point.”

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Preston caretaker Frankie McAvoy said: “We did not do well enough in the first half and we had to address that. It was not good enough and it will not get us anywhere.

“We got the press fixed from the front in the second half and we were the dominant team.

“Over the course of the game we were unfortunate that we didn’t come away with the three points.

“It is disappointing that we didn’t get the win, but, as a whole, we did not do enough in the first half.

“We had good opportunities in the second half and needed a bit more composure. Overall, it was a positive result.

“I’m pleased with the second half and that is a positive. I am pleased with the point to be honest.”

What the fans said

Nathan Jones: Shame Norton tanked out after an hour looked really bright. Powell invisible today

Christopher Daplyn: Another game we should have won

Daniel Johnson: Some real positive stuff to come out of this season is the growth of @harryjsouttar, @TyreseKCampbell, @C_Norton9 and Collins . Looking forward to a fully fit side next season and hopefully a real push with kids bossing the league

Evahopeful: Usual game. 80% of our players cant score, poor balls from wings, Fletch offside as usual and vokes coming on to make no impact. The cherry on the cake this week was poor old Souttar being sent off. Wonder what positives and green shoots we’ll take from todays outing. Dire, dire, dire…….

Up next

Coventry City, home, Wednesday April 21, 7pm





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