Boss Simon Grayson was critical of his side’s defending following Preston North End’s 3-0 defeat at Leeds United – only the Lancastrians’ third defeat in the league since the turn of the year.
Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez struck before half-time and after Preston defender Alex Baptiste’s late dismissal, Souleymane Doukara added a third in stoppage time as Leeds got their hopes of a top-six finish back on track.
Preston, whose outside play-off hopes were dealt a blow, were made to pay for two glaring early misses by Tom Barkhuizen before Roofe opened the scoring, while both Leeds striker Chris Wood and Barkhuizen hit the woodwork.
“We started really well and had two great opportunities through Barkhuizen,” said Grayson, who won promotion to the Championship as Leeds manager in 2010 before narrowly missing out on the play-offs the following season.
“But before you know it, we switch off and they got their noses in front. We weren’t good enough defensively and that was the big aspect. Mistakes at key times that cost us. If you do that against a strong team like Leeds they’re going to punish you.”
Baptiste was shown a straight red card in the 86th minute for his crude challenge on Hernandez. Grayson said: “I didn’t see anything to be fair and the referee has given it for kicking out or something.“But Baps says he hasn’t done anything. If we don’t think it warrants a red card we’ll look into the situation.”