CLARETS boss Eddie Howe admitted a point was no use to his side at Preston, and feels the win gives their play-off hopes a huge lift.
After Leeds’ 3-0 defeat at Swansea earlier in the afternoon, Burnley went into the derby seven points adrift of Simon Grayson’s men in sixth, with three games in hand.
And Jack Cork’s late headed winner gives the Clarets real hope in their quest for a return to the Premier League at the first attempt.
Barry Nicholson put North End ahead midway through the first half, only for Jay Rodriguez to level shortly after with his third goal in three games against Preston. The match looked destined for a draw before Cork’s intervention.
Howe said: “We had a little chat on the bench and all came to the conclusion that a point wasn’t good for us, so we chased three, and, football being football, sometimes it works out.
“We’re delighted with the three points because it makes all the difference to us. We want to continue this run and it will be lovely to be back at home in our next game.
“To end this really tough run of fixtures like we have has been a really good effort from the players.”
The game brought an end to four successive away games, and seven of Howe’s first nine games in charge have been on the road.
And he felt Burnley deserved the derby spoils: “I think we deserved it overall, first half especially, we were the better side.
“In the second, we came under a little bit of pressure at times, but we defended long balls into our box really well, and you always felt we had a chance if we could string a few passes together, which was always going to be difficult.
“When we do, we look a really good side.”
He added: “I’m absolutely delighted with the players, it was always going to be a really tough game.
“It was never going to be a pretty football match, but what we did was do the nasty bits right, and it was a really professional performance.
“The two centre halves were outstanding for us and we showed good character to come from behind, so it was another performance that really pleased me.”
The goals were rare moments of quality in a typical derby, and Howe said: “There were two moments of class.
“For the second goal especially, it was a really good move, a fantastic ball from Wade Elliott – it really was – and Corky really attacked it where boots were flying. I was really pleased for him because he’s a consistent performer for us, week in, week out.
“Jay provided a really good finish for the first as well, he had a lot of time, didn’t panic and put it away well.”