Graham Turner's thoughts after the 2-1 win at Preston
A late winner at Deepdale was always likely to improve the mood of manager Graham Turner, and so it proved if his post-match interview was anything to go by. Matt Richards’ dramatic late penalty earned Town all three points after they trailed going into the break to ease the tension towards the bottom of the table going into next week’s home clash with Sheffield United.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Turner. “It’s been a long hard battle and we knew Preston would make life difficult for us. They get the ball forward quickly and compete for everything and their set pieces are thrown in there so we knew what to expect and it was hard graft at times. To go a goal down and show enough character to come back and win it was terrific.”
GT was asked if he could see a win coming after going behind in the last minute of the first half to a smashing strike from Stuart Beavon. “I can barely recall Chris (Weale) having to make a single save in the first half,” said Turner. “But for the lad to hit one like that from 25 yards and find the top corner was a real body blow when for the most part we had defended quite comfortably. Preston had a bit of pressure in the second half particularly down our left hand side but we’ve stuck at it and got our rewards. Paul Parry showed great composure for the first one with Jon finishing really well, and Steve McGinn played a lovely little ball in for Marvin to get in behind and win the penalty. We’ve got to be pleased with that because it relives a little bit of pressure for us.”
Parry’s response pleased the manager after his spell on the sidelines. “He had his illness and played up front for the reserves against Bury on Tuesday. He’s not going to go flying all over the pitch but he has got that composure in his game. If we can get him on the ball he can spot things and can get in behind defences and that’s what he showed a time or two in the second half.”
The gaffer was also delighted for his skipper who showed nerves of steel to plant the winning penalty beyond Thorsten Stuckmann. “It’s great character and bottle from Matt,” said Turner. “We might have had a good last 10 minutes at Swindon but it didn’t quite work for us and he’s been so reliable for us from the spot. He started out on the left and had to drop back to left back during the course of the game which is never easy.
A lot of people think left back’s his best position. He doesn’t but a lot of others do. Matt can play the game and he’s an influence on things. He’s just had one of those spells over the last few weeks where he might have got caught in possession once or twice or missed the odd pass or two but it doesn’t change him as a player. With McGinn and McAllister in the middle Matt had to go somewhere else and he’s done well.”
The defence held firm throughout much of the contest and Turner was quick to praise the defensive unit: “Yado (Mambo) is developing quite well and Cameron (Gayle) is showing good defensive qualities. Whether the signing of Rob Edwards will have any influence who knows because suddenly there’s a bit of pressure there and Rob will have a part to play at some point. We needed his experience as we’re a bit light in there but we need someone like Rob to come in and steady things.”
Town’s last win came at Coventry so it looks like Town enjoy their trips to the bigger grounds. “I’m sure our supporters appreciate some of the stadia they’re going to now with some of the facilities they’ve had to endure over the years,” said GT. “To come to places like this must be a pleasant place to come for them and I hope they’ve enjoyed it today.”