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First Team News

“We’ll Work Our Socks Off To Do Better” Says Alex Neil

25 August 2018

Alex Neil admits his side need to improve and is determined to right the wrongs after this afternoon’s defeat.

Goals from Mason Mount and Richard Keogh consigned the Lilywhites to a 2-0 loss against Derby County today, and speaking after the game, the manager is fully aware that improvements need to be made. 

"I thought first half we were the better side right up until the goal and that’s typified the season for me so far,” said the manager post-match. 

“That’s in the fact that we’re on top, we nick the ball in some good areas and have some good opportunities to punish the opposition, they break down the other side and they score the first goal and that’s a bit deflating for everybody because when you play that well and you’re on top particularly away from home you need to make it count. If you don’t take your opportunities and chances when they come along then you’re always going to make it a difficult game for yourself.

“In the second half, I don’t think we performed as well as we did in the first and the goal we conceded at this level is really poor. It’s a basic corner in the box, we lose the header, it scrambles across the line and we should do better. 

“We’ll work our socks off to do better. The one thing I will say is that my players don’t ever make a mistake on purpose, sometimes they’ll switch off but we’re an honest group who work hard so we’ll get them organised and get them ready and go again.”

North End certainly had opportunities in front of goal, but it was that lack of a cutting edge that the manager believes is lacking at the moment.       

Alex continued: “I don’t think we’ve scored from open play, and it’s not through a lack of getting in good positions, it’s the fact we’re not moving the ball quick enough to create because we’ve created a lot of good opportunities so far this season in terms of getting into good areas but the difference is that extra bit that gets you the goal and gets you the points.”

North End went into the game with both Tom Clarke and Alan Browne to add to the injury list which already contains Sean Maguire and Billy Bodin not to mention the experience of Paul Gallagher who was serving the second of his three game suspension, and the manager feels it's that experience that his side are really in need of at the moment. 

Alex continued: “The one thing I will look at is if you look at the starting line up today, it was really young, we had a lot of players missing today, but for a club like us, when that happens it really damages us in terms of experience on the pitch, even guys who are experienced like Andrew Hughes, they’ve not played a lot of games at this level. 

"We’re making errors that we didn’t make last year and poor decisions that we didn’t make last year. Going forward we need to create a bit more for ourselves because we are getting in good areas, it’s just our final touch letting us down and we need to defend our box better.

"We’ve not had an easy start by any means but we’ve got to quickly consign last year to the past and focus on what we’re going to deliver this year because we’ve got good potential as a team but potential doesn’t win you games.

"It’s a results driven business and we’re here to win games and that’s what I’m here for. The only thing we can do is buckle down, stick out your chest and go again, if you start feeling sorry for yourself at this stage then you shouldn’t be at this club. 

"I’m not over-reacting it’s just quite raw from the game and I don’t like losing games so I’m really frustrated at the moment as are my players but we’ll come again, we’ll get ourselves working and we’ll be ready to go again."

Watch Alex Neil's full interview on iFollowPNE now.


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