Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal insisted winning was all that mattered as his side saw off Preston in the Sky Bet Championship.
It looked like being an easy afternoon for the Owls as they took a two-goal lead thanks to efforts from Kieran Lee and Daniel Pudil.
But North End, who had been abject for 75 minutes, got themselves back into the game through Alan Browne’s effort and created enough chances to have levelled.
Wednesday eventually closed out the win in injury time as Lewis McGugan struck from 40 yards after Preston goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had gone forward for a corner.
It was no more than Wednesday deserved overall and Carvalhal was happy just to get the points on the board.
“This is the Championship, the teams all the time believe they can change the score,” he said. “It’s most important that we win, we are in a sequence of a lot of games.
“It was a typical game from the Championship. We won and we have three points and that is the most important thing.
“After the break we controlled the midfield better and got the second goal. After the second goal, this is the Championship, teams put players on the pitch to try and change the game.
“The first goal was very important to us, at the break we were planning to try and correct everything.
“Everything belongs to the players, we have a fantastic group.”
Goals from Lee and Pudil were particularly fitting as it was Lee’s 100th appearance for the Owls, while the on-loan Pudil passed a fitness test on Saturday morning just hours after attending the birth of his second child.
“It’s a fantastic day for him,” Carvalhal said of Pudil. “He had a daughter and he scored a goal and in the last last 20 minutes he asked to come off, but we asked him to stay on. He did very well.”
North End boss Simon Grayson had much less to celebrate as his side slipped to an eighth game without a win.
It was a poor showing from last season’s League One play-off winners until the final 15 minutes.
“It’s a feeling of frustration, first half we were comfortable, we were the architects of our own downfall with all three goals,” he said.
“Up to the 44th minute we were comfortable, I have never known Hillsborough so quiet, our goalkeeper has not had a save to make, we weren’t having to defend for our lives. Then we make a mistake and we made another one after half-time and we have a mountain to climb.
“We should have got something out of the game, we had Sheffield Wednesday on the back foot and had some really good opportunities to get something out of the game, but at Championship level you get punished if you make mistakes.”
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