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First Team News

Manager Bemoans Key First Goal

22 August 2018

First Team News

Manager Bemoans Key First Goal

22 August 2018

Alex Neil felt North End were denied victory tonight by not getting the first goal in a game which produced very few chances.

Teemu Pukki’s goal for the hosts on 80 minutes was arguably the deciding factor this evening in a game which provided little in terms of goal mouth action. 

The majority of the goal mouth action that did take place however, came from North End. Callum Robinson went the closest for PNE with his strike hitting the bar on 73 minutes whilst Louis Moult and Lukas Nmecha both had efforts on goal denied by the Canaries’ goalkeeper, Tim Krul. 

However, when Teemu Pukki fired Norwich into the lead ten minutes from time, it gave Daniel Farke’s side the momentum to grab a second through Alex Tettey seven minutes later to consign North End to defeat. 

“We kept them quiet for long spells tonight and probably had three of the best opportunities of the game before they scored,” said Alex in his post-match interview with iFollowPNE.  

“There was opportunities there where we could have took the lead but we always felt that the first goal was the deciding factor because it was such a tight match, but I thought we were okay at best tonight. 

“The first goal is the one that loses us the game. The second one from Alex, obviously he hits it really well but I’m really disappointed with the first one. The lad comes back inside, and we should never let people back inside and in that instance we did and that’s what’s cost us the game.” 

The manager employed two strikers tonight in Nmecha and Moult which in turn nullified the hosts for most of the game, but the Scotsman bemoaned his side’s missed opportunities this evening. 

Alex continued: “The one thing I will look at is the part that I’ve played in tonight because first half, we adopted a different approach with two up front to frustrate them and it worked to a point but it took away from our game. In the second half, I thought we were the better team until they scored which is disappointing so that is something that I’ll have a look at from myself. I’m really frustrated because we had our chance to get that first goal. 

"I’m usually not a big fan of my team playing that way (with two strikers) but it was a bit of a means to an end because in doing that we’ve still created the best chance but the fact is that we didn’t put away our chances. 

“I thought for the first 30 minutes of the second half we were on top and we bossed the game in their half, but the game changed when the goal went in, they get a lift and then Alex Tettey smashes one in from 30 yards.”

Watch Alex Neil's full interview on iFollowPNE now. 

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