Reaction from Neil Lennon and Simon Grayson, following the draw at Deepdale on Saturday evening
Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon looked on the positive side following the goalless stalemate away at Preston North End on Saturday evening – even though the Trotters are now without a win in eight games.
Despite the point gained, and the positives to take from it, Lennon was still left frustrated at his beleaguered playing squad – who remain in the bottom three of the Sky Bet Championship, with the draw lifting them above Rotherham United and Charlton Athletic in the process.
Chances were at a premium throughout the feisty local derby – the first between the two teams for 14 years, under the floodlights of Deepdale.
In a drab encounter which failed to live up to expectations, Shola Ameobi and Gary Madine went closest for the Trotters either side of the interval, while Preston duo Daniel Johnson and Joe Garner, had efforts which Bolton goalkeeper Ben Amos was equal to.
However, the Northern Irishman remained in an upbeat fashion, ahead of Tuesday’s trip to face Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
Speaking after the game, Lennon said: “We need a better quality in the final third. In the second half we were the better team.
“We were a little bit frantic in the first half with the ball I thought, but we still created some good chances, and we just need that little bit of composure at the end of things and that’s what has been the difference between us being mid-table and top 10 to being in the bottom three.
“I thought that we were comfortable. David Wheater was outstanding and that gives us a lot of positives.
“I wasn’t happy with some aspects of our game such as the lack of composure when we were rushing things. We got ourselves into good positions but the crossing or final ball was poor.
“Overall I am pleased because I don’t think that we are that far away but I’ve been saying that for a long long time. I’ve got to be happy with a point and I’ve got to be happy with a clean sheet as well.”
Meanwhile, Preston North End manager, Simon Grayson, argued that North End lacked quality in the final third, as the Lilywhites continue their climb up the second-tier, following an impressive unbeaten run of form which moved them up to 18th.
Grayson said: “Ultimately you take another point, they are very hard to earn, but obviously we are disappointed because we would have like to have won it.
“We know that we have to have a bit more care and a bit more quality.
“I think when you look at the game from both sets of teams there was a lot of endeavour, a lot of hard work, a lot of desire.
“I thought both defences were on top and midfield was keenly contested.
“But where it matters from our point of view we didn’t have that extra quality decision making to go and win the game.
“You have got to give credit to their defenders because they blocked a lot of shots and did what they needed to do.”