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First Team News

‘The Players Rose To The Challenge’ Says Alex Neil

10 April 2018

Alex Neil believed his side took to their second half objective head on and came out fighting as North End got back to winning ways at Deepdale tonight.

At half-time, the hosts found themselves in an all too familiar scenario in recent weeks as despite being the better team, Kemar Roofe’s goal on 13 minutes sent Leeds ahead at the break.

However, in the second half, Alex Neil’s side scored three without reply to earn the Lilywhites the win at Deepdale, and the manager was pleased with the attitude shown amongst his players this evening.

“At half-time we were a bit concerned that it was going to be the same old because we’ve been in similar positions in recent week where we’ve performed well. I thought we were the better side in the first half and had the better of the chances. They’ve had a couple of attempts at goal but not really that many where you think they should have scored whereas we’ve had several. We had a lot more pressure and chances at that stage.

“At half-time, I just said to the lads we’re all sick of coming in here and saying we’re playing well but not getting what we deserve because winning games and points is what it’s about so we need to go and make the difference and that’s what they did.

“They rose to the challenge and I thought what we did in the second half was add goals to our game. I don’t think the game changed that much and then we went on and won the game and rightfully so. 

“I challenged them at half-time because we’ve done a couple of debriefs about how we’ve played and I think the message we’ve had between us and speaking to the lads is that we just need to keep believing and doing what we’re doing as it will reap dividends and our performances have improved as the season has wore on.

"We’ve created more chances in terms of clear cut, and I think tonight if we took all of our chances we’d of had five or six so it’s pleasing. Today was a shot in the arm for us and some of the lads now will grow in confidence and be stronger.”

The manager admitted that he looked for inspiration from his experienced players tonight, none other than through Paul Gallagher who scored and assisted one this evening.

“I don’t think Gally had his best first half, but what experienced players do is they go and stick their chest out and make it right and that’s exactly what he did,” added Neil. 

“He comes in and takes his penalty nice and calm into the corner and it’s an unbelievable delivery for the second goal. Sean puts his head in there where he needs to as a striker and gets his goal. Sean’s second half performance was much improved as well; we needed a lot more from our players in the second half and we got that. 

“We needed to make sure we stopped that stem of defeats and to score three goals as well was pleasing. 

“We’ve got some good games coming up and some teams around us have got some difficult games coming up but we’re still in that bunch and we need to hope that teams drop points and it’s back to one match again and anything can happen so we’ll keep going. The most important thing tonight is to win the game 

 


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