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First Team News

Neil Aiming To Cement Deepdale As A Fortress

4 August 2017

Manager Alex Neil is looking to ensure Deepdale is a fortress for his PNE side this season.

The gaffer is hoping to build on the home form of last season and wants to make Deepdale an uncomfortable place for oppositions teams to visit.

Speaking to iFollow ahead of the clash with Sheffield Wednesday, the PNE boss said: "The club have done that over the last few years, the home form in particular has been really strong. We want to make it so teams don’t enjoy coming here and they know it’s going to be an uncomfortable evening or afternoon. We want to make sure that we’re on the front foot and that we’re trying to implement our style of play onto them.

Neil takes charge of a competitve game as PNE manager for the first time on Saturday, and will be channelling his excitement into getting a positive result on the day.

"I think as you get a bit older and you’ve been in the game longer, even as a player, you learn to control those emotions and butterflies. Not only that, you’re probably better at channelling it into something positive rather than letting the nerves overcome you.

"We’ve got some senior players in the squad, guys that have been there for a number of years who have sampled that and hopefully we can help the younger lads and make sure they’re prepared for the game."

North End come up against the Owls on Saturday afternoon, and the gaffer is pleased to be kicking off the new campaign on home turf.

"Sheffield Wednesday is a great game to start with – to be honest, any game at home is a great game to start with, to put a marker down on the league.

"The start of the season is a game where every team in the league will look at it and think they’ve got an opportunity and a chance to have a really good season. There’s no preconceived ideas anywhere and it’s a case of trying to get a good start and see where that takes you.

With a bumper crowd expected at Deepdale as the curtain raises on a new season, the 36-year-old is hoping to send the North End fans home happy.

"It’ll be great, I haven’t really been in here with it being close to full, which will be good. Sheffield Wednesday always bring a good support and I’m sure that our fans will be in fine voice as well and hopefully we can give them something to shout about.

"We’ve been focused on this game for a while now, we’ve done all our work. I’m quite relaxed today, Fridays are my days when I’m quite relaxed because all the preparations are done. It’s just a case of a bit of motivation with the players before the game then it’s down to them to do their stuff."

Watch the full interview with the manager on iFollow by clicking on the video above.

Tickets are still on sale for the game, you can buy 24/7 on www.mypne.com until 12 noon on Saturday and collect at the game, or the ticket office and ticket hotline re-open from 9am on Saturday morning.


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