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17 April 2017

City bounce back with victory at Deepdale

ALAN Irvine was happy with how his players came away from a tough venue with three points after City's 3-1 Easter Monday win over Preston North End.

Preston hadn't lost a home league match since Boxing Day but goals from Graham Dorrans and Josh Murphy, plus a maiden strike from James Maddison, secured a deserved victory for the Canaries.

Speaking to the media after the game at Deepdale, Irvine said: "I thought it was a really good performance, we were excellent in the first half. We could have had more goals.

"We knew there would be a reaction and we put ourselves on the back foot a little bit in the second half by giving away too many free-kicks and we had to withstand that.

"Thankfully we got the third goal just before the end. To a man, the players did really well today. We knew how difficult a place this would be to come and we've come away with a fantastic result."

Maddison, 20, replaced Alex Pritchard as a 79th-minute substitute for his league bow and made an impressive impact by slotting home calmly to wrap up the points in stoppage time.

"James is a talented young player and I've been saying that for a few weeks now," Irvine added when asked about the potential of the former Coventry man.

"He is competing with Wes Hoolahan and Alex Pritchard, he got the opportunity today and he took his opportunity. That's all he can do and I'm absolutely delighted that he did."

Attentions now turn to the visit of Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday and Irvine insists that his players will retain their competitive ambitions despite their hopes of achieving a top-six place in the league having gone.

"We've got three games to go and we've got to try and get the best team picked for those games," he said.

"I made some changes for today and Josh Murphy was very good, Steven Naismith played the role that he was required to play really well.

"There are plenty of things to play for and we'll do the best we can to win the remaining three games."

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