Walters believes goal may prove crucial

JON Walters believes his late equaliser at Preston was as good as a winner as the race for the play-offs hots up.The Blues top scorer is likely to collect a clean sweep of player of the year awards on Sunday when Town supporters cast their vote and was delighted that his goal at Deepdale leaves the door ajar for a top-six finish.

Derek Davis

JON Walters believes his late equaliser at Preston was as good as a winner as the race for the play-offs hots up.

The Blues top scorer is likely to collect a clean sweep of player of the year awards on Sunday when Town supporters cast their vote and was delighted that his goal at Deepdale leaves the door ajar for a top-six finish.

Walters said: “I'm a bit disappointed we didn't win the game but we're still in there and this result sets things up nicely for Sunday.

“Even if we'd have won, though, we'd have gone into our final game needing three points, so we're no worse off.

“The other results went for us and that was vital. Now it could even go down to goal difference and that makes things very exciting - it's a great advert for the Championship.”

Most Read

Whatever happens on Sunday against Hull, Walters believes the season has already been a success given the progress the team has made since this time last year.

Walters said: “It's a team effort and making the top six would mean everything.

“The reality is that if we win our last game we're in with a shout of making them and I think any fan would have taken that if you'd offered it to them back in August.”

Manager Jim Magilton praised his side after Walters' strike kept the Blues' play-off hopes alive, if only by a thread.

Magilton said: “I always thought it would go to the last day and we are in with a shout like a few others.

“We have a real tough game at home against Hull and we will go into that, present ourselves and see where that takes us.

“If we win you never know what happens. We have to win our game and see.

“We have hope and we have to cling on to that.”

Tommy Miller opened the scoring for Town before Chris Brown equalised.

Magilton said: “We scored a very good goal but then took our foot off the gas and that has been the story of our season away from home.

“When we have teams on the ropes we have not killed them off.

“Preston had their moments but we kept going and deserved to get something from the game.”

Although pleased with Miller's and Walters' finishes, he was not happy at the way his side conceded.

Magilton said: “We had a number of chances but, typically of our season, they break away and it is a sloppy goal from our point of view.

“I'm very proud of the players because they kept going and we deserved something.

“Stephen Bywater made a great save but collectively we were very good and played some lovely stuff at times. But again old habits have raised their ugly head and that is why we are not sitting pretty.”