It was not surprising that McAvoy made two changes to the starting line up following the midweek exertions in Bournemouth. Johnson and Potts came in for Browne and Maguire. The changes did not have the desired impact.
Make no mistake but this was a game between two sides very much rooted in midtable. The one sided result, a three nil victory for Forest, just showed how poor Preston were on the day with the home side rarely getting out of first gear.
The first half an hour was fairly even. Forest did look the more dangerous but that is hardly surprising given that Preston failed to trouble the home keeper throughout the ninety minutes.
The lead came after a surprising turn of events. Whiteman went to clear a ball in the box but when he did so the referee adjudged that he had caught a forward Forest players. A penalty was awarded but it seemed highly dubious and the decision fitted with the laclustre nature of the game.
Grabban smashed home the penalty and Preston may as well have gone home at that point. Whenever North End went forward they lacked the inventiveness often turning back and sideways instead of pressing ahead. Attacks were stalled with slow passes and Riis was permanently isolated.
The home side doubled the lead before the break. A set piece was cleared only to Colback who was towards the edge of the box. He volleyed towards goal and as Iversen's view was blocked the ball ended up in the net.
In the second half McAvoy changed tactics going to four at the back. Sinclair and Cunningham came on for Potts and Earl. The system left Preston open and Grabban scored his second on the break.
The home side probably could have added to the scoreline but in reality they were thankful that they didn't have to work hard for their three goals.
Preston now head into the final international break of the year. Questions hang over the management and players after there was a sense a corner was turned in midweek. The run up to the festive period is going to be a testing time for North End.