Shaun Hutchinson felt Millwall deserved to run out even more emphatic victors at Preston North End on Saturday.
The centre-back headed in his fifth goal of the campaign. His 78th-minute finish decided the contest at Deepdale and moved the Lions to within four points of the top six.
“In the first 10-15 minutes we started really slowly and looked leggy,” said Hutchinson. “Fair play to Preston, they hit us hard at the start. But we grew into the game as it went along.
“We looked stronger and stronger and come full time I don’t think anyone who watched the game would say we didn’t deserve to win – we probably deserved to win by more goals.
“There is nothing better than a 1-0 win away from home, but at the same time they could’ve nicked one at the end. If we draw that game it’s a disaster because we should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up. We’ve got to be more clinical in front of goal.
“This is such a difficult place to come. I’m a real admirer of what Alex Neil has built here. They are a great team, so this is a fantastic result for us.”
The Lions had taken two points from a possible 12 before securing their first maximum haul since the 2-0 home win against Reading on January 18.
“We knew we had five games against really tough sides and it hurt us a little bit how we had performed,” said Hutchinson. “Not just the results but the performances had not been there – especially West Brom.
“We did a lot of work on the training ground and we owed a performance to the fans. A lot travelled up on Saturday and it’s another away win.”
Hutchinson, who recently signed a new long-term contract, has 10 career goals for Millwall.
“It’s a second phase – Murray Wallace has done well to keep it alive and I knew where my man was and that I was onside,” said the former Fulham and Motherwell defender. “I don’t set myself goalscoring targets. I know the gaffer puts a lot on his defenders to try and chip in with a few every now and then.”
PICTURES BY BRIAN TONKS
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