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First Team News

Consistency Is Key For Neil

21 September 2017

Alex Neil feels that consistency will be key for his side after an impressive start to the campaign.

North End sit in fourth place after just one defeat in the opening eight games of the season but the manager isn't getting carried away and admits the challenge is now maintaining that form for the rest of the season.

Speaking ahead of the visit of Millwall on Saturday, Neil told iFollow PNE: "Consistency is going to be key, I think average teams win one game out of three or four and can perform when and if they raise their game, whereas I think quality teams do it on a regular basis. That's our challenge now, to try and maintain that form.

On the expectations going into this weekend's game, the gaffer continued: "When you go into any game you have got to believe you can win but it can shift from week to week.

"When you play the bigger clubs who have a lot of money then the focus is on them, whereas when you play a team who has been newly promoted then people have got an expectancy about us.

"We've just got to put that to one side, we have just got to go and attack the game in the way we have done in every other one."

The Lilywhites are back on home turf this weekend, and after three wins and a draw at Deepdale so far this season, the manager is keen on keeping that run going with home form a vital part of the season for a successful team.

"I think the crucial part to any season is home form, if you can start picking wins up on the road then it makes for a real successful season but if your home form isn't good then the rest doesn't really matter I don't think."

The PNE boss has praised the supporters in recent weeks and is hoping more fans turn out at home games, something he feels that will come with the way the team are playing at the moment.

"The one thing to get more fans through the gate is playing expansive, exciting football but winning football.

"The fans want to come and see their team win and hopefully the way the lads are performing, if we can entice anybody back to Deepdale then that can be a positive thing. Firstly for them, because I'm hoping they enjoy the game, and it's certainly a positive thing for our players because it means they've got more backing.

"I'm really hopeful that we can try and get more fans through the gate."

The gaffer is hoping to have a couple of players back in contention this weekend but has praised the way his squad have handled injuries to key players since the start of the season.

"I think what it does do is it shows that we don't rely on any one individual and I think that's really important for us.

"We've lost our two captains, we've lost our two midfield players as well so basically the spine of your team is not there at times.

"But what we have got is other guys who can come in and do a great job for us and they've managed to do that and fill in in those times of need.

"Not only that but they have put themselves in my mind where I know I can rely on them."

Hear more from Alex on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above.


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