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First Team News

Neil Expects 'Hard Fought' Battle With Bluebirds

11 September 2017

First Team News

Neil Expects 'Hard Fought' Battle With Bluebirds

11 September 2017

Manager Alex Neil is expecting a tough test on Tuesday night when Cardiff City visit Deepdale.

Neil Warnock's side sit at the top of the division after six games with 16 points a far, but PNE boss Alex Neil knows his side are capable of getting a result and feels it will be crucial for his side to win their battles all over the pitch.

On the challenged posed by the Bluebirds, Neil told iFollow PNE: "I think it's really difficult to play really good football against teams like Cardiff because they are set up to stop you playing. They don't want you to have any part to play in the game and there's nothing wrong with that because we do the same.

"We don't like teams getting on the ball and moving it against us, we want to stop them and we want to force our style of play on them so it's going to be a really hard fought game I think.

"I don't think it's going to be all silky football, I think there will be a few crunching tackles and a few battles on the pitch and I think whoever comes out the right end of those battles will have the best chance of winning the match.

"They are performing well at the moment but as with a lot of games it's fine margins. They get a goal towards the later end of the game against Fulham, I'vewatched the game against Fulham and to be honest the game could have probably gone either way, Fulham had some good chances in the game as well.

The gaffer was missing midfield duo Ben Pearson and Daniel Johnson on Saturday, and with other injuries to key players such as Greg Cunningham and Tom Clarke already this season, the gaffer feels it gives other players a chance to prove themselves in his plans.

"Josh Earl is a prime example, Tommy Spurr who didn't play a lot of games last year is another good example, Sean Maguire is another, no-one really knew Sean until this season but his performances when he has played means that he's in my team.

"Every manager picks what they deem to be their best players at the time, you don't ever pick a team who you think 'oh well I like him so I'm going to play him even though he's not playing well'.

"The fact is my responsibility is to the team and to the club to make sure that I pick the guys who I think are going to be the best suited to win us the match and I will always do that.

On any changes to his side for the visit of Cardiff, the gaffer continued: "I spoke after we went to Derby about how I probably should have freshened it up a little, with the injuries we've got that becomes more difficult, but it's certainly something that I maybe need to look at."

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

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