Morecambe boss Jim Bentley looked to the positives after his side’s exit at the hands of Preston in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
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The Shrimps battled hard but were always up against it on Tuesday night with Alex Neil’s side prevailing 3-1 at Deepdale.
Goals from Brandon Barker and Louis Moult put North End in command before Liam Mandeville pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time as Bentley’s men scored for the first time this season.
Morecambe sensed an opportunity but Graham Burke was on target just before the hour mark to make sure the Lilywhites took their place in Thursday night’s second round draw.
“It was a tough, tough game for us,” said Bentley.
“There’s no excuses. We were beaten by the better side.
“One monkey we had to get off our back was the goal which we did right on the stroke of half-time.
“That was fantastic for us in a game where we were really under the cosh.
“I’m disappointed with the manner of the goals we gave away because they could have been avoided.
“At 2-1 we just started building into the game, you could hear the crowd getting up, we had one or two corners and then suddenly they hit us on the break down the left and scored the third and once they got that it was always going to tough.
“There’s positives in there for us. We kept plugging away and scored the goal.
“We’ve got to take it on the chin, it’s a tough place to come and credit to Preston. We wish them the best for the future.”
Bentley was hugely impressed with what he saw from North End, both in defence and attack.
“They are a good side on that evidence,”said the longest serving manager in the Premier League and Football League.
“Considering 11 changes were made they just oozed class.
“I thought they were excellent. They’ve got pace, power, knocked it around extremely well and looked very, very good.
“It wasn’t just with the ball that they were so good, it was without as well.
“The pressing side was just absolutely brilliant.
“You can see why they had a decent season last season and hopefully they can go one better this season.”