North End came up against a revitalised Blackburn Rovers yesterday under new manager Paul Lambert. The ex-Aston Villa manager sealed a near perfect start to life at the club, plus four other things we found from Saturday’s game.
Joe Garner finally ended his goal drought
The Blackburn-born striker scored his first goal of the season yesterday with a neat finish after an effort from Stevie May was deflected into his path. Garner has become increasingly frustrated with the lack of goals in recent performances but the goal has been a long time coming. He will be open to recapture his form he had in League One last season. He scored 27 goals in 43 appearances for the club last season and the club have been craving goals since the start of the season.
Bailey Wright had a difficult and tiresome performance after the international break
The Australian international’s impressive performances haven’t gone unnoticed, as he is now a regular in the Aussie national team. The Centre Back has notched up nearly 25,000 miles travelling to and from the international break. Jet lag showed yesterday after he was having a fantastic game against the duo of Tom Lawrence and Jordan Rhodes. But picking up two yellow cards in six minutes made the Derby more frustrating for the Lilywhites. Wright will now miss PNE’s next game; a massive blow with him being such an integral part of the club’s defence.
PNE midfield dominated possession
With 58% of possession over the whole period of the match, Simon Grayson believed that his side deserved to get something out of the game. He said: “When you look back over the course of the game probably the least we deserved was a point. It was a typical derby match, a lot of tackles and things bobbling around.” The club definitely upped their game in the second half of the tie but a continuous problem so far this season is an ability to have the clinical final ball.
Jordan Pickford ended his own run of clean sheets
After going six games without conceding a single goal plus a string of fantastic appearances for the England under 21s, an own goal from the on-loan Sunderland keeper was all it took to end that brilliant streak. Pickford’s performances in the PNE net have lead to rumors of clubs like Tottenham Hotspur after the shot-stopper. When Shane Duffy’s strike was cleared off the line by Paul Gallagher, it deflected off the keeper and fumbled into the net.
Paul Lambert sealed a brilliant start as Rovers boss
The ex-Villa and Norwich manager has been without a job since February and had 5,500 travelling Rovers fans celebrating emphatically when he won his first game as manager. The Pickford own goal and a penalty from Jordan Rhodes pleased the manager as Blackburn was lifted up to 13th in the League. Joe Garner’s left footed finish was the only negative note to what was a near perfect start at Deepdale.
The loss at Deepdale ends the clubs unbeaten run and the impressive number of clean sheets the club was on a run of. Preston North End lie just two points off the relegation places and will look to turn around their form when they face Fulham next weekend at Craven Cottage.