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First Team News

Alex Neil Looks Ahead To Royals Clash

5 April 2018

North End boss Alex Neil is primed and ready for a trip to Reading this weekend in the Sky Bet Championship.

After the Easter fixtures, the Lilywhites sit just three points out of the Play-off positions and when speaking to iFollowPNE before the game, Neil spoke about how he wants he doesn't want his players to dwell on previous results.

When talking about the matter, Neil said: “I think we have improved over the course of the season, but we want to take that final step.

“We don’t want to sit back and think what we could have had or should have had.

“The one thing about this group is they will try their very utmost in the six remaining games to pick up as many points as they can, and we’ll see where that take us.”

"It is a fantastic chance for us. That’s the one thing about football, regardless of the setbacks, frustrations and disappointments, there’s always a chance to put it right.

"We’ve got six games remaining, we are still three points off of sixth and we’re in a fantastic position."

On the games over the Easter period, the PNE boss continued: “We don’t have any regrets so far. The Derby and Sheffield Wednesday games, we turned up and tried to win both games and unfortunately for us we didn’t.

“We have made big strides forward this season so far. We were arguably a penalty away from getting three points.

“We got done by a counter attack and a free kick or whatever the case may be, but we need to learn from that and then we will push on and see if we can try and win the next one.”

Looking ahead to Saturday's clash with Reading, the gaffer spoke about the appointment of new manager Paul Clement and gave his thoughts on our opponent’s position in the league, and how this is a chance to put the previous results to the side and focus on the final run of games this season.

“They’re very different from how they played before. I think Paul has been more pragmatic since he came in.

"Obviously, they’ll be conscious that they are still not completely safe in the league so far, so he will be wanting to make them hard to be.

On Reading's last game against Aston Villa, which ended in a 3-0 defeat, Alex added: "Aston Villa had to move the ball, fashion opportunities, get it wide and get it into the box and rely on that little bit of quality to unlock it.

"It was a real bit of quality, Snodgrass cuts in on his left side, so it’s a great pass over to Bjarnason who bends it into the far top corner. Sometimes, you need that bit of magic that’s going to unlock the door and once the first goal goes in, then it completely changes the complexion of the game.

"Reading had a decision to make, do they settle for the 1-0 or do they come out and try and get something from the game which then leaves spaces for Aston Villa to exploit. To be honest in the end, Aston Villa ran out worthy winners."

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


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