Swansea manager Alan Sheehan urged his players to take confidence from a first home win since October as they edged a late 2-1 Championship victory at home to Preston.
Jamie Paterson completed his brace in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage-time to end Swansea’s run of seven home games without a win and deny North End a valuable away point after Liam Millar cancelled out Paterson’s opener.
As a result, Swansea – who have yet to appoint a permanent successor to Michael Duff – climbed four places to 15th in the table, while interim manager Sheehan has now taken seven points from five games in charge.
“We’re delighted with the win. We haven’t been good enough at home or got enough points but after the playing well and losing against Middlesbrough last time out, tonight was just about doing enough to win the game,” said Sheehan.
“We weren’t fluent with our performance by any stretch. We tried to play it through, looking for the perfect goal but it broke down each time.
“Preston are physical and try to ram it down your throat which we have to deal with. They came to make it hard for us and sometimes you’ve just got to grind it out and two moments of absolute quality from Jamie Paterson won us the game.
“We need to build confidence, resilience and a desire to win from this. When you win and have things to work on then that’s good. It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done and took a valuable three points.”
Preston continued their dramatic slide in form and slipped to ninth, with just one win from their last seven games.
They at least looked to have taken a point from their travels after substitute Millar cancelled out Paterson’s opener with a well-taken curling effort.
However Alistair McCann gave away possession inside his own half to gift Paterson the late winner.
Preston manager Ryan Lowe said: “I’m disappointed and gutted that we just couldn’t see it through to get what would have been a good point.
“I thought we were well worthy of the draw. It was a battling performance, nothing amazing and we dug in.
“We knew Swansea would dominate possession because that’s what they do but we handled their pressure well for long periods but individual errors have cost us.
“We played sideways instead of forwards for the second and left the man unmarked in the box for the first.
“It was disappointing because we had got ourselves right back in the game with a great goal and I felt we were in the ascendency.
“The players have character and effort but there were two lapses of concentration for the goals.
“I have to take responsibility as the manager, I know that and I have to lift myself first because I feel that I’m letting people down and I don’t like doing that.
“We could do with a bit of luck and to get that we need to keep working hard and digging in.”