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First Team News

Alex Neil: "It Was A Perfect Start"

5 August 2017

Apologies, this video is unvailable.

Manager Alex Neil was full of praise for his side this afternoon after they secured their first three points of the season at the first time of asking.

The gaffer was delighted with North End's showing at Deepdale after a converted penalty from Daniel Johnson saw the Lilywhites beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 and Neil felt his side were more than worth the three points.

"I thought it was a game in which we thoroughly deserved to win," declared Neil after the final whistle

"It was a good performance against one of the teams who are tipped to do well this season. I thought we were better in every department today so it was a perfect start.

"We did more than enough to win the game - the only thing we can be frustrated about is the fact we didn't score more goals and that we needed a penalty to open the deadlock but in terms of how we attacked and how we defended, I thought we were excellent."

Neil was equally pleased that his plan of attacking football and taking the game to their opponents came through after months of preparation, and the gaffer refused to single out any players this afternoon, both with those that started, and to those that came on as substitutes.

"The lads have got a real good understanding with what we're trying to do and they showed all of that today," continued Neil.

"It's difficult to single anybody out today and that shows our strength in depth in the fact that the lads have come on and they too have made an impact on the game.

"The likes of Greg Cunningham, Chris Maxwell, Paul Huntington, Tommy Spurr - they've been about and they showed great experience in letting the game fizzle out and were comfortable throughout the match."

Neil handed debuts today to latest signing Darnell Fisher and Irishman Sean Maguire ahead of the game, and the pair did not disappoint in their first competitive Deepdale outing today.

"Nothing got past Darnell today," added Neil. "He (Darnell) was really good with his one vs ones and I thought Sean led the line for us really well, softened the centre backs and Jordan did the rest when he came on."

A crowd of over 18,000 turned up at Deepdale today, and Neil is hoping for more of the same throughout the season, with his side looking to entertain the fans as well as win games.

He continued: "What we've spoke about internally is getting as many fans through the gate as we can and what we want to do is play as well as we can and win as many games as we can - hopefully the fans will come back because if the lads continue to perform that way they deserve that kind of support."

For more reaction from Neil as he also goes on to talk about facing Accrington Stanley in the Cup on Tuesday night, watch the video in full now.

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