Preston entered this game knowing that after a recent run of draws only a few wins would propel them into the top six. A play off position now looks distant for the first time this season after an inept performance against an Ipswich side that will not be troubling the top six.
North End started poorly and rarely improved throughout a turgid 90 minutes which casts a doubt over whether Preston have the capability to break out of their midtable security.
The home side could have been three or four down by the break. Rudd made an early save which set the tone as Preston were all over the place. Woods came in at right back and it showed that he has hardly played at all this season.
It took Ipswich just over twenty minutes to score when Carayol took advantage of some below standard defending on the Preston right. He raced into the box to beat Rudd.
The visitors hit the bar and had numerous other chances but one goal was enough to seal the game. The performance was so poor that Neil hauled off Woods and Robinson before the break.
The second half was tepid and Ipswich were well drilled without being spectacular. Preston were simply poor. At times the ball was lumped up to Moult who is not able to hold up the ball like Hugill. Neil needs to work out a new way of playing without a big frontman.
North End are now entering the final phase of the season where the games will quickly start to run out. There is a slim chance of making the top six but Preston will have to put together a winning run that they have yet to achieve this season.
Preston's season is largerly being defined by dropped points at home against sides in midtable or below. Ipswich join the list that contains Boton, Sunderland, Millwall, Barnsley and Birmingham.
Neil needs to rejunvinate a tired and lethargic looking side but entering the final stages of the season this is going to be difficult with a midtable finish looking likely.