SIMON Grayson felt there was always a chance his side could snatch a late equaliser given Blackburn Rovers’ recent hectic schedule.
Aiden McGeady scored deep in to injury time for Preston who left Ewood Park with a 2-2 draw after Tom Barkhuizen had given the visitors an early lead.
Rovers took the lead nine minutes in to the second half through Craig Conway, after Elliott Bennett scored an equaliser just before the break.
The game was a seventh in 22 days for Rovers, who had faced long trips to Fulham and Norwich in the past week.
And Grayson admits he never lost faith that his side could snatch a late equaliser.
He said: “Testament to the players that an attitude where they’re not going to give up and get something out of the game it’s testament to the fitness level of the players going right to the very end.
“I did say at half time I felt that with Blackburn having a few games these last few weeks the latter stages of the game could be of benefit to us because they’d obviously played at Fulham on Tuesday night.
“It’s more the desire and spirit that you’ve got to keep going to the end and obviously it’s proved positive for us.
“There is no better feeling than when you score a late equaliser or winner sometimes in front of your following and to have that many (fans) it just shows you what it means to everybody.
“It was a good derby game, Blackburn will feel disappointed, we’ll be happy and we recharge our batteries ready for an eight-game season.”
Former Rovers man Paul Gallagher came off the bench to come up with the assist for McGeady, and Grayson was happy with his impact.
He added: “We were just a little bit too open and when we got it back we were in too much of a rush to try and get into the 18 yard box so we needed a couple of passes, and that’s the difference Gally can make.
“He put a great ball in and I think Hunter (Paul Huntington) was offside for the header that was ruled offside, he gives you that pass you make selection decisions but you know when you’ve got people on the bench with the strength we’ve got, they can affect the game when they come on.”
Preston go in to the international break just five points off the play-offs, though Grayson feels his side have something of a free shot at trying to gatecrash the top six..
“We’re under no pressure to get into the play offs,” Grayson said.
“The only pressure we are under is from myself to try and finish as high up the division as possible. I think we’re a free shot from now until the end of the season so we have to stay there or get there because of the budgets and the people above.
“The players are under pressure every time they train and every time they go out onto the pitch because of the demands they set and myself to win as many games as possible.
“It’s a carefree attitude whereas the pressure that the other teams are under is a lot more intense and scrutinised and you see results are going to fluctuate from now on to the end of the season.”