Preston North End’s run of four successive Sky Bet Championship defeats was ended on Tuesday night, as they came out on top in a feisty encounter against Fulham at Deepdale.
Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the first half, with Dennis Odoi seeing red for an elbow for Fulham, and Joe Rafferty being sent off for a bad tackle.
Goals from Sean Maguire and David Nugent helped Preston into a two goal lead, and despite a late Aleksandar Mitrovic goal, the hosts held on to hand Fulham their second successive defeat.
Preston boss Alex Neil was pleased to have halted the run of successive defeats, but admitted there was still work to be done.
As quoted by BBC Sport, he said: “We’ve built an expectation up this season, we’ve done really well so far and after our previous defeats it hurts more.
“I still don’t think the balance is quite right, we’re missing that tactician in the centre of midfield. Once we have everybody available I think we’ll be strong.”
Speaking about Joe Rafferty’s sending off, Neil said: “At the time I thought he had been hard done by. I’ve actually had a word with him now because it was a really bad challenge.”
For Fulham manager Scott Parker, it was all round disappointment.
He said: “I am disappointed we have not been able to get a result out of the game, but I am disappointed with our performance as well.
“We didn’t defend well and I didn’t think we had enough quality in the final third. At both ends of the pitch we weren’t on it and ultimately we need to improve on that. We huffed and puffed and had a few chances, and maybe on another day we can get a draw. But you can’t walk around feeling sorry for yourself, especially in this league.”