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First Team News

Neil Ready For Step Up In Pre-Season Tests

19 July 2017

Manager Alex Neil is looking forward to taking his pre-season preparations to the next level against Premier League opposition.

North End have come out on top in all three friendlies so far but face tough tests against Newcastle United and Burnley in the next seven days.

The PNE boss spoke to iFollow after the 3-2 win over Accrington Stanley and he looked ahead to the next two games: "It's going to be interesting to see because what we've managed to do in the last couple of games is dominate the ball and what these teams will do is try and dominate the ball and when you come up against better players and better teams it can prove to be difficult.

"Based on what I've seen so far, we've done really well, we've got two really difficult tests coming up and it will be good for us to see where the lads are.

"I think the next couple of games will tell me a lot about how brave we are, are we brave enough to do it against the big teams and to see how concentrated we can be because against these teams, any lack of concentration and they punish you."

The gaffer knows the Premier League sides will be ruthless in attack and is enjoying the prospect of a new challenge for his North End side.

"That's the big difference in levels, maybe the lesser teams will take five opportunities to get a goal, these teams need one and for all your good play, you're undone, so we've got to make sure that we are well constructed at the back as we build our play which on a couple of occasions we weren't tonight.

"What we've got to make sure that our organisation without the ball and how we hunt it together is spot on and it will be a new test for us so it's one I'm looking forward to. "

The full interview with the manager will be available on iFollow from Thursday morning.


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