PHIL Parkinson admitted his side looked “disjointed” as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Lancashire rivals Preston North End.

Wanderers’ relegation fears deepened as goals from Alan Browne and Tom Barkhuizen consigned them to an 18th defeat of the campaign, leaving them four points from safety.

Clayton Donaldson grabbed a consolation in the last minute, followed by a fine save from Declan Rudd to deny Josh Magennis an injury-time equaliser.

But that would have been harsh on the visitors, who Parkinson conceded had been the better side on the day.

“We started OK and had a couple of decent chances with Magennis’s header and shot and then they got control of the game,” he said after the final whistle.

“We didn’t get any control, like we have had in recent games, conceded a poor goal – basic error, got done by a one-two – and sent them in at half time 1-0 up.

“Before the second goal we were having a good period in the game and a very basic mistake has cost us that goal. We can’t afford to give away cheap goals like we have done today because we are up against decent sides and we have to give ourselves a chance.

“We got that goal towards the end, the keeper has made a good save as well. But today there are a lot of things we could have done better.

“We looked like a disjointed team, at times, I have to be honest. Obviously we had to make changes because of the three lads out, defensively, but I thought we were disjointed and we have played a lot better.”

Wanderers – who have faced problems on and off the pitch in recent months - have won just once in their last 21 league games.

Parkinson can see, however, that there are rudimentary errors creeping into their game which cannot be blamed on external factors.

“First and foremost we have to get back to having more resilience in the team and not conceding soft goals like we have done today,” he said.

“When you look at the Sheffield United ones – the first we could have done better, the second is a header in the middle of the goal, and we need to get our key players back fit, have more resilience, and have an understanding that we can’t give anything cheaply away to the opposition. Those other games, like West Brom, we’ve come off and played terrifically well and patted ourselves on the back for decent performances but today I don’t feel I can say that.”