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First Team News

Gaffer Ready For Bees Test

8 February 2018

After a narrow defeat to Brentford at Deepdale earlier this season, manager Alex Neil knows what to expect when he takes his side to Griffin Park to face the Bees on Saturday.

North End came from behind twice back in October, but it was Dean Smith's side who left with the points, and the PNE boss is expecting a competitive encounter in the capital this weekend.

Speaking to iFollow PNE ahead of the game, the gaffer said: "They’re a good side, it’s going to be a tough match. The last game we played against them was a good, competitive, tough game; it ebbed and flowed.

"I thought once we went two each we were going to go on and win it, we seemed to be on top of the game; but they have a lot of quality on the counter attack where they can hurt you in that instance.

"That’s something that we’re going to have to try and guard against a bit better than we did the last time but I think it’ll make for an entertaining match.

On Saturday's opposition, the gaffer continued: "Brentford is an excellent club in this division, Dean has done a great job there. They play a really good brand of football and they’re really competitive.

"They’re one of the types of teams that you know if they’re on their game, you’re going to have a difficult match.

"We’ve got to hope we go there and play very well and if we do that, there’s no reason why we can’t get a result."

The manager will be forced into at least one change at the weekend with Ben Pearson missing through suspension after picking up his tenth booking of the season against Hull City.

Despite Pearson being unavailable, the manager feels his side are able to adapt well and will be making sure his side are prepared for the challenge ahead.

"The good thing is with the Championship is that you face a variety of challenges every week.

"We’ve faced different shapes, different strategies, different sorts of formations and our lads are learning every time how we would cope with every sort of challenge.

"The good thing is now its taking us less and less time to get to grips with things. It’s going to be another challenge this weekend and we’re going to have to make sure we come up with the solutions.

"We have a variety of different players that can come in and do a job for us. We’ll have a look this week, we’ll take our time and we’ll make sure we make the right decision."

North End will be backed by another strong away following, with almost 1,000 tickets already sold, and the manager is hoping he and his side can send the fans home happy on Saturday.

"It’s a bit of a throwback, you get the standing terraces and I'm sure the fans will go for a couple of beers before the game and enjoy themselves.

"But what happens on the pitch will ultimately determine how good the trip will be so if we get a good result for them I’m sure they’ll have a good day. That’s what our aim is and we hope we don’t send them home disappointed."

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


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