Preston’s Championship win over Bournemouth was marred by Patrick Bauer sustaining a season-ending Achilles injury, manager Alex Neil revealed after the game.
Bauer added to Tom Barkhuizen’s goal and Scott Sinclair’s 40-yard lob to put North End 3-0 up and they held off a late fightback, with goals from Junior Stanislas and Sam Surridge, to win 3-2 and continue their good away form.
But it came at a cost and Neil said: “We are all gutted for Pat. It’s going to finish his season, which is devastating for him and for us.
“Patrick’s injury is devastating, and that is the main emotion at the moment for us, but in terms of the game it was really pleasing of course. We deservedly won the game tonight.”
Preston took the lead in the 16th minute after Barkhuizen applied the finishing touch to a rapid counter-attack.
Sinclair spotted Asmir Begovic off his line to score from long range four minutes into the second half and centre-back Bauer slid in to score via the inside off the post in the 68th minute.
Neil hailed Sinclair’s goal, adding: “Scott has got quality. It was a fantastic strike, when he hit it I was thinking he should have passed it but when it went in it was great.
“He was magnificent tonight, I’m really pleased for him because he works his socks off and he’s a great lad.”
Stanislas’s sweetly-struck 25-yard free-kick with 19 minutes left gave the home side hope before Surridge headed in his first Bournemouth league goal with four minutes left, but manager Jason Tindall admitted his side gave themselves too much of a “mountain to climb”.
Tindall said: “I felt we deserved the two goals and, had the game gone on for another five minutes, we might have got something.
“If you look at the goals we conceded, they did not deserve to score three goals because they came from our mistakes.
“The goals came at the wrong time for us and I did not think we deserved to be 3-0 down.
“That is football sometimes and if you like to attack and don’t get your organisation sorted at the back, you are likely to be punished.
“Credit to Preston because they counter-attacked well and took their chances.
“When you are two or three nil down at home or away it is a mountain to climb and today was too big a mountain to climb.
“We did not click from an attacking point of view as often as we’d have liked but we just have to put that down as a bad night at the office.”
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