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First Team News

Gaffer Hails Impact of Substitutes

9 December 2017

North End boss Alex Neil praised the impact of substitutes Daryl Horgan and Josh Harrop after the pair gave the Lilywhites the finishing touch to seize another three points on the road.

The Lilywhites, for all of their possession could not convert their dominance into goals with the Brewers coping well with the strong presence of Jordan Hugill up top after the hour, so Neil brought in reinforcements in the shape of Harrop and Horgan who gave North End more control and pace up top.

It took just three minutes from the change to North End’s first with Tom Clarke grabbing his first goal of the season before Horgan doubled North End’s advantage with a fine finish into the corner. 

“I thought the game was always going to be frantic at the start,” assessed the gaffer after the final whistle.

“As the game wore on we knew the game would open up. I thought the subs made a massive impact when they came on. Daryl getting his goal which was great and Josh Harrop impacting the game which opened it up a bit more.

"I thought we shaded it for the first 60 minutes. We made the changes and then we were definitely the better side. We hit the post on a couple of occasions, and Daryl’s had the one on one which is probably an easier chance then his goal so I think all in all, the lads have come to a tough place and done really well. Burton are really organised and worked hard and we had to be composed enough to break that down and thankfully we were. 

“We had Tom Barkhuizen stretching the game which made that gap open up and that allowed Josh and Callum to operate behind them and it caused them real problems. I was delighted the subs worked but equally delighted that the players made it work because they’re the guys that have to do the business.

“They had two big strong centre halves who dealt with Jordan’s physical presence well so we wanted to get the ball down and play through them as the game opened up. We wanted pace and movement to cause them problems and thankfully for us we got them.” 

It was never going to be as cut and dry as the form guide would suggest with the Brewers bottom of the table, with the home side organised and hard working, forcing North End to equal them in their work rate and be patient in their attacking forwards, 

Neil continued: “We’ve got honest lads who work really hard week in week out and we knew how important three points was today. 

“They’re a fantastic group to work with and we knew how important it was to get three wins out of four which is good form so we’re really pleased. We have a bit of momentum and we need to take that momentum into the next game.” 

Watch Alex Neil's full interview on iFollow now.  

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