Struggling Preston dealt further blow

Darren Ferguson said he saw the confidence drain from his team after Grant Holt scored the goal which sent Preston crashing to their third defeat in a week.

Banished to the stands after his behaviour in the defeat at arch-rivals Burnley a week earlier, Ferguson had demanded his team put on a show for the extra punters lured in by cheap ticket prices. The show went ahead – thanks to City.

'You get a good view of the game and it was not a day for sitting and getting a good view today,' he admitted.

'Very, very disappointing – we have given our worst performance of the season on the day we have got our largest crowd here. I felt it was important to put a good performance on and get a win and hopefully get a few fans back, but it was a performance that was lacking in confidence, energy, tempo. Our passing was nowhere near crisp enough or good enough and Norwich deserved to win.

'As I said to the players we have got ourselves into this mess and a bit of trouble and no-one is going to help us get out of it.

'I didn't expect Norwich to come here and roll over and give us a helping hand. We have got to get ourselves out of it.

'When they scored we ran out of ideas and lost all confidence.'

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The home fans made their feelings known, booing the Preston players as they left the pitch – and Ferguson admitted it was hard to disagree.

'You're never happy when your own fans boo you, but a lot turned out today, a lot who haven't been so far this season, so this is the first time they will have seen us and they are entitled to their opinions and to be disappointed,' he said.

'The supporters have been magnificent since I came in, but I knew if results didn't improve they would give their views.'

While Paul Lambert is being lauded for his efforts at Carrow Road, Ferguson finds himself under pressure after six defeats in the opening seven games.

'There is always pressure, especially when we start the way we did, but I've got to keep doing my job and try and turn it round,' he said.

'I think it is embarrassing the position we are in and I certainly didn't expect us to be in this position.'