Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers bemoans Preston pitch
Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers bemoaned the Deepdale surface as his promotion-chasers suffered their third successive away defeat at Preston.
The Swans failed to fire and struggled with their passing game on the bumpy pitch as Iain Hume's double earned victory for the struggling hosts.
"It was difficult because of the pitch to get our fluency going in how we play," Rodgers told BBC Sport.
"It obviously hasn't been cut, which doesn't surprise me."
Preston boss Phil Brown said pre-match that his bottom club, who remain eight points from safety, had to win "ugly" against the "most attractive footballing side" in the Championship.
Deepdale hosted a 2-1 England under-21s defeat to Iceland on Monday and Rodgers felt that the hosts wanted the surface bumpy and grass on the pitch long so to make it difficult for Swansea to impose their style of play.
"The pitch was very difficult" continued the Swans boss. "It didn't look like that for the Under-21 match.
"We have seen it over the years - you get a football team coming to a ground and it's your prerogative being the home team.
"But I'm surprised at this level that you walk out on to the pitch and it isn't even cut."
Swansea's expansive football has won plaudits this season but Rodgers admitted: "We weren't able to impose our own game."
The Swans slipped to fourth in the table and are now four points behind Norwich City, their opponents on Saturday, who occupy the second automatic promotion place.
But Rodgers has no complaints over his side's shock 2-1 defeat, conceding: "It was not the performance level we've been at for most of the season.
"It wasn't that Preston had to do anything fantastic to open us up, there were too many gaps."
Hume put Preston ahead after just three minutes from the penalty spot when goalkeeper Dorus de Vries fouled Billy Jones.
Ashley Williams levelled for Swansea with a close-range header after Fabio Borini's shot was blocked.
But Hume sealed a vital three points for boss Phil Brown's side with seven minutes to go after a brilliant solo run.
"Iain Hume did very well today," added Rodgers. "He was excellent, his energy was good, he was dynamic strong and aggressive in his running, and a goal from his perspective.
"But for us, how we've defended this year and how we've been, that was very disappointing."
Swansea have seven games remaining to claim an automatic promotion spot with Norwich, who occupy that last place, visiting the Liberty Stadium next weekend.
The Swans problem has been away from home losing 10 of their 13 games and the last three on the road have ended in defeat.
"It's a concern only because we would want to do better," he added. "But thankfully I've got a group of players who respond fantastically well to the downs of football.
"They're obviously disappointed in there because they know that we haven't really done ourselves justice today.
"If we have ambitions to go up automatically, [Norwich] is a game we have to get something from and we will look to get a win."