Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth said his side showed Preston 'too much respect' in their 5-1 drubbing against the Championship team at Adams Park.

Goals from Josh Harrop (two), Alan Browne (two) and a deflected Daryl Horgan effort saw the Lilywhites run out 5-1 winners, with Luke O'Nien pulling a goal back for the Blues at 2-1.

Ainsworth heaped praise on the performance of Alex Neil's men. He said: "The chance of an upset went out of the window in the first minute (with Harrop's first goal).

"We were outdone by a much better team. Fair play to Alex, he has his team working really well. They were fluid and they are are a really good team.

"They are the best Preston side I have seen for a long, long time and I think they have a real chance of the play-offs this year.

"There is a gulf in class in the leagues. We are playing one of the form teams of the Championship and they were excellent and we were definitely beaten by the better team.

"We had one or two moments but nothing like we have against teams in League Two.

"I thought at times we showed them a lot of respect and that was disappointing.

"We dropped off a lot and their front three caused us all sorts of problems."

However, there were a few positives to come out of the game, with Scott Kashket making his long-awaited return off the bench after a serious injury which has kept him out all campaign.

Ainsworth added: "It was great to see him get some minutes. He nearly scored at the end which would have been fantastic for him.

"To have him back in the squad and on the pitch is phenomenal for us and it is a real indication of where we want to go and we have good options up top now."

Wycombe did get back into it at the end of the first half with O'Nien's strike bringing Wanderers right back into it at 2-1.

At the start of the second period, the Blues were buoyed by that goal but Horgan's goal on the break on 50 minutes broke Wycombe's hearts.

Ainsworth said: "That goal knocked the stuffing out of us.

"It was a slightly different teamtalk to what is was going to be thanks to our goal just before half-time.

"I thought we had a glimmer of getting another but it wasn't to be and Preston deserved what they got."