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First Team News

'We've Got Something Special' Says Neil

19 October 2017

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Manager Alex Neil feels there is an atmosphere around the club with staff, players and fans alike believing this squad is capable of achieving success.

North End sit in fifth place in the Championship ahead of the weekend, and with just one defeat from the opening 12 games, belief is unsurprisingly high at North End.

On the feeling around the club at the moment, the gaffer said: "I think there's an atmosphere, certainly at the training ground, but I think in general at Preston just now that something is possibly happening for us.

"We are looking at each other thinking we've got something special here, in terms of team spirit, the quality that we've got, the willingness to work, the honesty, the endeavour. All the attributes that you would attribute to a successful team I think we've got.

"What we need to make sure is that we take all those traits and display them regularly on the pitch and make sure that we can create something that hopefully is going to be a bit special."

Neil feels that the outside view of his side is shifting, and feels that league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers won't be underestimating North End when PNE travel to Molineux this weekend.

"I think people are looking at us and knowing we are not going to be a soft touch, we're not a tea, they will look at and think 'little old Preston', I don't think that's the case, I think that's starting to change.

"I think that's starting to change due to the fact of how the lads are doing, how hard a game they are giving everybody they are playing.

"There's not really been any games so far this season where I think the other team were miles better than us, I don't think that's been the case, even the one we lost, they won on a penalty.

"I think Wolves will give us the respect we're due, but equally, they will fancy themselves that they're good enough to break us down and beat. We will fancy oursevles to go there and make it really tough for them and I think if we can perform as well as we can, there's absolutely no reason why we can't win."

Wolves have showcased their ambitions this season through their spending in the transfer market over the last couple of windows, but Neil is looking forward to the challenge of coming up against proven quality players.

"I think it helps that there are so many of them, looking at them they are more a continental team than a typical British team. You look at the amount they have forked out for some of their players as well, we're not talking about guys who have played in the lower leagues in Spain and Portugal, we are talking about guys who have played Champions League football.

"There is a proven quality there but that doesn't phase us, if anything that will spur us on more because we are looking forward to that challenge.

"We want to test ourselves and know where we are, we're not scared in the fact that they've got good players so let's hope we can try and nick something.

"We want to go there and say 'that's fine, you might have good players but equally so have we' and we want to go there and be really aggressive and attack them and hope that we can play well enough on the day to beat them."

The manager admitted that he is still learning about his squad after taking over in the summer, and felt the journey back from Fulham last weekend showed just what the team are all about.

On that journey back to Preston, he continued: "It's strange because the coach journey back on Saturday for me, although it was painful, it was quite therapeutic speaking to some of the players.

"It's so refreshing to listen to players analysing themselves and where they think they could have done better, what they are hoping to improve on and how they see us as a group.

"It's still sort of a learning curve for me with the squad itself but I think all of the traits that they've displayed as individuals and collectively is so promising for this club and this team. It really hurts them when they don't succeed which I think is a great trait to have and we can hopefully use that as fuel for the next one."

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

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