Frankie McAvoy was issued with the job of steering Preston to safety in the final furlong of the season after some torrid results over the winter months. He achieved his mission with three games to spare.
North End beat Derby in midweek in what was a quite comfortable victory save for fifteen minutes after the break when Derby tried to cause Preston some problems.
Ben Whiteman scored his first for the club as he burst into the box to get on the end of a cross. Evans added a second before Ledson scored form a free kick as the game headed towards a conclusion.
Derby are struggling and it showed in their performance. Preston seemed to have control and could have added more goals. The only concern for the home side came after the break when they were still one up but Preston managed to keep the visitors at bay.
The victory means that Preston move through the 50 point barrier which is the general safety level for clubs to avoid relegation. Several games ago there was concern that Preston would get dragged into a relegation battle but after suring up the defence North End have made some improvements.
Preston will now play out their final three games knowing they are safe but in reality there is a big summer ahead. A decision will be made over the manager's position as well as players coming in and out of the club. It will be a critical summer which could decide the future of the club for the next few years.