ALL wrapped up against the Arctic blast, we fought our way through the aftermath of the ‘Beast from the East’ to face the ‘Gentry from the West’, our neighbours from Preston North End with the bowler hats.

There was a rising confidence after recent results, as we have risen above the bottom three and brought a few more teams into the relegation battle.

A good result against the Lilywhites would really strengthen our position and give us some breathing space as the games begin to evaporate quickly towards the end of the season.

Phil Parkinson went for Tyler Walker to run the line up front in an otherwise unchanged team.

As is becoming the norm these days, we were under the cosh from the kick-off as Preston piled the pressure on.

The defence held firm and in one of our few forays forward, Mark Beevers poked one in from a corner.

At half time, we couldn’t believe we were one up and we would have been happy if that had been the full-time whistle. But it was not to be as Preston continued to outplay us, get three goals and the three points in a fully deserved win.

This was a bad day at the office as, once Preston scored, no matter what we did, it looked inevitable they would run out winners.

There was precious little, other than frostbite, that we could take from this match.

One exception might be the brief cameo role of Jan Kirchhoff, who nearly scored with his first touch.

He looks like he might be the creative midfielder we have been missing for ages. Losing at home at this stage of the season is a blow and we can’t hide from that. But now is not the time for excuses.

It’s a time for positive reaction and to go to Reading and Sheffield Wednesday and get the points lost today at the frozen Macron.

With 11 matches left, there are no easy matches, home or away. Everybody is battling for points, whether it’s for promotion, the play-offs or avoiding relegation. We’ve got to stick together – the chairman, the management, the players and the fans.

We will need that famous Wanderers fighting spirit more than ever over the final part of this challenging season.

Forget the last result, it’s the next one that matters. And one thing is for sure – it’s going to be tight.