Simon Grayson could not hide his disappointment as Preston's winning run came to an end in disappointing fashion as Rochdale claimed a 3-0 win at Spotland.The Lilywhites had won their previous eight games but came unstuck against a Dale side with just two wins on home turf before this clash.
Goals from Jack O'Connell, Ian Henderson and Matt Done wrapped up the victory, while Conrad Logan preserved a clean sheet with a late penalty save from Joe Garner.
"You're never going to win every game but you do want your players to win individual battles and try to come out on top. Nine or 10 of their players were better than ours," said Grayson.
"It was a real tough game as they play with energy and purpose. But there were aspects of our game that we should have done better, the simple things. It's hugely disappointing but we can't have a go at the players because we've been on a great run.
"We didn't deal with long balls and we didn't win the first ball, we let it bounce and were too easy with things. The goals were certainly stoppable.
"It's probably the first time the back four looked unsure. There was indecision. We knew they'd play with the diamond and their forward players would go wide and I don't think our defenders understood that at times. The third goal came against the run of play as we were chasing it.
"To sum the day up, you don't expect your leading scorer to miss a penalty and that's the first time we've not scored this year."