Preston’s unbeaten home record in the league this season continues after a roaring comeback against Blackburn Rovers.
North End were torrid in the first half, and got off to the worst possible start as Adam Armstrong crossed for Sam Gallagher to head home. Technically, it’s gone down as a Declan Rudd own goal; the ball hit the post, cannoned off Rudd and went in.
Preston couldn’t respond and Gallagher made it 2-0, getting a lucky bounce his way before curling a fine finish past Rudd. It could have been even more in truth, because North End were dreadful.
Whatever Alex Neil said at half time, it certainly worked. Tom Barkhuizen brought North End back into the game in somewhat lucky circumstances; Christian Walton allowed Darnell Fisher’s looping cross to go over his head, assuming it was going out of play, only for Seani Maguire to sneak in behind him and nod it back for Barkhuizen to head in.
Daniel Johnson levelled the game from the spot after Alan Browne had been hauled down, before Barkhuizen’s outstanding finish sealed the win and a stunning comeback.
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Blackburn were, of course, left crestfallen having thrown away a 2-0 lead, and boss Mowbray not only slated referee Steve Martin to the LEP, but also Preston as a whole.
Mowbray poked a little bit of fun at Preston fans booing the first half performance, before seemingly criticising Neil for influencing his players on how to win fouls.
“All I hear boos at half time and a moaning crowd at their team who are getting well beat,” said Mowbray. “It’s football, you have to accept it and move on. Maybe we have to be a bit clever and manage games like they do. It’s not in my personality to influence players on how to win fouls,” he added.
It’s a very nice ivory tower for Mowbray to sit in, but there’s a certain level of hypocrisy here. Just over three years ago, Mowbray was telling the Coventry Telegraph how he wanted his Coventry veterans to teach his younger players the ‘dark arts’ of football.
That’s essentially what Preston are good at; buying fouls, wasting time. It was apparently something Mowbray did want to push for at Coventry, but he didn’t like it much on Saturday.