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First Team News

Neil Aiming To Maintain Home Momentum

26 October 2017

Manager Alex Neil is hoping his side can build on their home form so far this season when Brentford visit Deepdale on Saturday.

North End are unbeaten at home so far, and with back to back home games against Brentford and Aston Villa, the gaffer wants to maintain that momentum.

It's been a month since North End played at Deepdale, and speaking to iFollow PNE ahead of the weekend, the PNE boss said: "I think we've built up great momentum at home, we are getting more fans through the door as well which is good.

"We haven't lost a home game so far this season so it will be nice to get back and hopefully we can take that momentum we did have, and continue it."

On why Deepdale is proving such a fortress, Neil feels that has always been the case at the home of PNE.

"I think it's the competitive nature as much as anything, any time you were going to Preston you always knew you were going to be in for a difficult game. If you didn't compete well enough, you were going to find it a tough day.

"We've got to make sure that competitive nature is still there and even enhance it if we can, but we've also got to try and add quality to it as well.

"We need to make sure that, not only can we compete with teams and outwork teams and fight against teams, but we can also break teams down and show the bits of quality that you need to win games when you're not at your best. I think that's crucial if you are going to have a successful season.

After two tough away games, Neil is expecting another challenge against Dean Smith's Brentford, who have gone five games unbeaten ahead of Saturday's game.

On the opposition, he continued: "They retain the ball, they are aggressive, particularly in wider areas, the full backs push on really high. They've got pace at the top end of the pitch, they like to stretch the game and they've got three technically good midfield players in the middle as well.

"It will be a really good test for us, and it's a game which I think we've done a lot of work on. I see them in a similar mould to Fulham, certain aspects are very similar.

"They build through their thirds, they haven't really got a target man who they can put the ball up to and support. They do put it in behind you quite often though, they've got good players, there's no question about that.

"I think over the last couple of seasons they've been competitive and like most teams in this division, if they are on their game they are capable of beating anyone.

"So it can prove to be a difficult challenge at times, we are hoping that we will be at their best and they are not and I'm sure they will be thinking likewise."

Watch the full interview with Alex Neil on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above.


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