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First Team News

Neil On Robins Clash

20 November 2017

Manager Alex Neil is looking forward to welcoming a few more faces back into his squad for the trip to Bristol City on Tuesday night.

After a long list of injuries over recent weeks, the return of captain Tom Clarke to the matchday squad on Friday gave a boost to the dressing room, and with others close to a return, the manager is looking forward to having more options within his squad.

On those returning from injuries, the PNE boss said: 

"If we can get a few more bodies back for the game it can certainly help us. It gives us an extra edge, the stronger the squad I've got to pick from, you'd like to think the more quality we've got going into the game."


"Equally, the lads who are playing or have been playing, will know that they've got guys on their coat-tails now who will be pushing them for their place so I think it can only be a positive thing.

Neil was delighted to welcome Clarke back to the squad, on the captain's return he continued: "Tom has been out for such a long time, he's not played any football but the other night we needed someone on the bench who, if called upon, could come on and do a job and we know Tom's leadership skills and the qualities that he has, so he certainly fitted that bill.

"It's important, we want to have all of our influential and experienced players back. I think we've missed that at certain points in the season, we if we can get him, Greg and guys like that back then it certainly makes us stronger."



With Bristol City up next for North End, manager Alex Neil attended their game against Sheffield Wednesday and feels the Robins squad is similar to his own at PNE.

"To be honest it wasn't the best of matches, there weren't a lot of chances in the game, if anything, probably Bristol had the better chances in the match. They are energetic and they've got some good players in their side and we are going to have to play well to go there and win.

"They've spent some cash, they've spent quite a bit of money on the centre forward and they do pay decent wages as well Bristol City. In terms of the make up of the squad, it's not too dissimilar to ours, they've got a lot of younger players, they've got some experience in there as well so it's pretty similar.

The manager is looking forward to having more options available to him, and feels the balance between consistency in his selections and freshening up the team will be made easier with the return of key players.

"I think at the start of the season when we had a lot of players available I feel we got that balance right, I feel we altered one or two personnel if that, and I thought the consistency in the team was good hence the fact we went on a good run of results.


"We've got to try and get back to that if we can but we've got to be careful with some of the lads coming back, they've been out injured so we need to make sure we don't break them back down.

"I think winning games hides a whole multitude of sins as they say, we need to just need to make sure we get back to winning ways and I'm sure if the lads put in a good performance and get the win that they will take great confidence in that and hopefully build on it."

Watch the full interview on iFollow PNE above.


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