Manager Lee Johnson took heart from Tuesday's second half performance despite exiting the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the quarter-final stage.
The boss made a treble substitution at the half time interval, bringing on captain Liam Kelly, top goalscorer, Jonathan Forte and full back, Brian Wilson and that seemed to swing the game in Latics' favour.
That said, Johnson did not enjoy his side's performance: "It is disappointing," admitted the gaffer.
"We did so well after a poor first half and we had to be brave and make some substitutions which turned out to be really effective. I thought we were excellent in the second half but disappointed to concede the goal we did. The penalty shootout had a bit of everything didn't it.
"I do think a couple of players missed their chance to impress. It is not letting me down but they didn't do themselves many favours. I wouldn't just say it was them but it was everyone.
"There wasn't too many performances on the pitch and something had to change. First half it was men against boys so I had to make it men against men. I was really pleased with how the second half went.
"We had a bit more physical presence. We took the game to them and our tempo was higher. We moved the ball quicker and everything was just so much better."
Penalties are always a lottery and it was Latics that went home broken hearted last night but the manager cannot wait to get North End out his system.
"Preston seem to be our nemesis at the moment but we are getting there," commented Johnson. "We haven't quite got their resources or back up squad like you saw in the first half but we will catch them."
There is a quick turnaround now as Latics face fellow Lancashire rival Rochdale and the 33-year-old believes it is a perfect game for his players.
He said: "There is no better game to bounce back on this Saturday. We have a couple of players that come back refreshed and we are looking forward to it.
"We have three and a half thousand fans going there and we have to dust ourselves off quickly and get into what will be an enjoyable and exciting game.:
Watch the full interview on Latics Player.