Hughes came in for the injured Sinclair in what was the only change from the Boxing Day victory at Derby. This meant a switch to a back three with Barkhuizen joining Maguire up front.
Coventry were the better side throughout the first period but lacked that clinical touch and it was Preston who took the lead into the half time interval.
The visitors were sloppy at the back and instead of clearing they stalled on the ball allowing Maguire to press and win the ball on the edge of the box. He slid the ball into Johnson who remained calm to slot past the keeper.
It was perhaps an undeserved lead with Preston stuttering especially in midfield. Gallagher and Browne looked under par with poor play throughout the first period.
The game was killed off early in the second half. Again Coventry were sloppy allowing Preston to attack down the right and win a corner. The result was a ball which the away side failed to clear before Maguire manage to stab home from close range through a number of bodies.
Coventry rarely threatened until the last ten minutes when Rudd was forced into a double save although equally Preston did not trouble the visiting keeper much.
Preston will be thankful for the relatively straight forward win which sees them take nine points over the festive period as they now move into the new year in a more comfortable league position.