Carlisle manager Graham Kavanagh refused to be downbeat despite his side's narrow defeat to Preston on Boxing Day.
Teenager Josh Brownhill's strike late in the first half proved the deciding moment in the match.
Chris Humprey had gone close to scoring for North End just before John Welsh's pass found Brownhill in space on the edge of the area and he produced a superb finish with an accurate shot into the top right-hand corner of the net in the 42nd minute.
After a scrappy first half, the second period was a more exciting affair with Preston looking dangerous on the break and Declan Rudd coming to North End's rescue with a save when Tom Lawrence's thumping drive looked to be on target for an equaliser.
Kavanagh said: "It was a performance full of honesty, but you don't always win games you deserve to win. It was one bit of individual brilliance for the goal.
"I'm pleased, although not with the result as I don't like losing any game. We had two efforts cleared off the line and played our football in the second half. We could have been more clinical and intelligent. There was lots of movement, but we were not able to cut them open.
"David Amoo was our stand-out player. I still don't know how many gears he's got. But credit to Preston and I am feeling positive going into the next game. We will have to dust ourselves down and go again."