McCann’s men had battled back from 2-0 down to take the game to penalties with Josh Magennis netting from the spot to halve the deficit before Jarrod Bowen levelled deep into added time. However, the visitors were edged out with Tom Eaves the unfortunate man to see his effort from 12 yards saved as Preston went through to round three.
“The fightback in the second half was excellent, but in the first half we were nowhere near it,” said McCann.
“We all take responsibility for that, it’s not just down to the players. We were lacklustre and Preston were better than us, it’s as simple as that.
“We came back out and showed a lot of character and a lot of fight in the second half. We looked strong, we looked fit and we looked robust which was all very pleasing and we got back into the game. The second half was more what we are about and it was great to see Jarrod get the equaliser right at the death.
“We all know that penalty shoot-outs can be a bit of a lottery and Tom Eaves was a bit down afterwards, but that can happen to us all – even the best players miss penalties.
“It’s the second half performance that was the pleasing thing tonight. We said to the boys at half time that we needed to play with more energy and more guile and expression. We did that and were probably unlucky not to win the game in 90 minutes.”
McCann confirmed that left back Brandon Fleming was taken off before half time due to feeling ill.