Preston boss Frankie McAvoy urged his team to be aggressive and got exactly the response he was looking for as the Lilywhites came from behind to beat Coventry 2-1 and end their winless run.
Not since late August had North End won a Championship game and that streak appeared to be continuing when Tyler Walker hammered home on the stroke of half-time to put Coventry ahead.
But Preston showed their resilience – just days after McAvoy bemoaned their turgid display in a 0-0 draw with Derby that was their first game since the death of owner Trevor Hemmings last Monday – with Patrick Bauer powering home a header and Emil Riis cutting inside to fire in the 69th-minute winner.
“We went a goal behind and I thought the reaction the players gave us in the second half was magnificent,” said McAvoy.
“I spoke to the players at half-time and said we need to get more aggressive and in their faces and I thought the players showed the attitude, hunger and desire that I know they have. They showed that in abundance.
“I’m absolutely delighted, we knew it was a big game, it’s been a big week for us as a club. The second-half performance was probably as good as we have performed during my tenure here and I’m really pleased with that.
“I was delighted for Pat (Bauer) getting the first goal and then Emil has done really well for us. He is still learning, he makes some mistakes, but a quick free-kick, he was alive to it and he has finished it well.
“It’s a pity that we didn’t put that type of performance in on Saturday.”
While Preston ended a seven-match winless streak, Coventry suffered just their second defeat in eight games after seeing a lead slip away and boss Mark Robins took the blame for not making substitutions earlier – waiting until after they went 2-1 down for the first change.
“I should have made changes earlier on, before they scored that (first) goal,” he conceded.
“We were starting to get a little bit overrun but that was because we weren’t good enough on the ball.
“It gave them that little bit of impetus and we stopped playing. We invited them back into the game and to concede two goals from set-pieces is really disappointing.
“We had built into the game and built into a really good move just before half-time when we took the lead with a fantastic goal from Tyler Walker.
“We moved it really well, he got the ball on the edge of the box and slammed it into the top corner which was a really good finish and right on the stroke of half-time which was brilliant.
“They came off to boos from supporters so that will have galvanised them for the second half.”
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