Furious Ryan Lowe took aim at Preston fans’ ‘disgusting abuse’ after his side slumped to a fifth home league defeat on the spin against Bristol City.
Mark Sykes and Sam Bell’s first-half goals proved the difference despite Ched Evans’ strike pegging the visitors back.
Sections of Deepdale could be heard chanting against the Preston boss before the team were then booed off at half-time.
And Lowe, whose side sit 11th in the Championship and four points off the play-off places, said: “There are a few things which are being said which are disgusting, and I’m not here to be abused.
“It’s probably a small minority [of fans].
“Booing the lads at half-time, I don’t think the lads warranted that even though it was 2-0.
“A few of the shouts from the sides, I’m a human and I don’t want to be spoken to like that.
“It’s disheartening because I thought we deserved a point, if not three.
“That sounds crazy because we lost 2-1, but you cannot legislate for mistakes and individual errors.
“The two goals we conceded were disappointing, but I can’t fault the endeavour from the lads to try and get back in the game. That was pleasing.
“We have done everything we can but win and, ultimately, we’ve gifted them two goals, which you can’t do.
“We were penetrating to get the equaliser, but we ran out of time in the end and we lacked a bit of quality in front of goal at times too.”
Tom Cannon came within a whisker of firing the home side ahead as he headed straight at Bristol goalkeeper Max O’Leary from close range.
And the missed proved costly as City took the lead when Sykes pounced from point-black range.
Midfielder Alex Scott’s ball over the top was defended dreadfully by the hosts – and Sykes took advantage of a poor backpass from Robbie Brady which sold keeper Freddie Woodman well short.
Nahki Wells forced Woodman into a save at the other end as Evans and Cannon also went close for Preston.
But Bell bagged City’s second in the third and final minute of first-half injury-time, coolly tapping home from close range to stun the hosts.
Evans pulled a goal back after mopping up from Ryan Ledson’s spilled shot but the Robins held on for a hard-fought triumph on the road.
Boss Nigel Pearson, whose side are now unbeaten in eight games in all competitions, said: “I’m just delighted for the players, it was good to see them celebrating with the fans because there’s a real connection there.
“It’s important our fans have a team they want to go and see.
“They’re [Preston’s] quality from set-plays is excellent and I thought we – to a man – stood up and made it really difficult for them. It was a tough game.
“We had to be up for the battle – and we were. They put us under a lot of pressure in the second half, but we showed some really quality in a tough, physical game.
“I was really pleased with the collective effort and our desire to win.
“It was a bit tetchy at times, but it doesn’t matter because it will go down as an away win.
“We would like to play with a bit more style, but we couldn’t today because the game didn’t allow us to do that.
“It was a tough, physical game, but we showed some real quality as well. That [result] was a great example of what we’re about.
“The game looked as if it was fizzling out in the first half, but a decisive counter-attack from us and we’re 2-0 up at half-time. It was a very important win for us.”
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