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First Team News

Neil Hoping Players Can Take Their Chance

25 January 2018

Manager Alex Neil is looking forward to giving some players an opportunity to show what they can do this weekend in the FA Cup clash at Sheffield United.

The manager made changes to his side in the previous round against Wycombe Wanderers, which saw a number of players keep their place in the team for the follow league games having impressed the gaffer, and Neil is hoping for more of the same on Saturday.

The PNE boss holds the FA Cup in high regard, and feels a good cup run can only be a positive for the club and for his squad.

Speaking to iFollow ahead of the trip to Bramall Lane: "If somebody offered me three points or to be through to the next round of the cup I would probably take the three points. I’m not saying it’s not as important, because it is, however our goal this season is to try and get as close and into that Play-Off position as we can.


"I think a good cup run is excellent for the club, it’s excellent for the players and we have a really healthy squad at the minute in terms of two players in each position and things like that.


"So to give other guys an opportunity to show that they should be playing without jeopardising any points I think is a great thing.

"Like you saw in the last round, some of the lads took that opportunity and subsequently stayed in the team since then so I think it’s a great chance for me to give some of them a shot."

The gaffer believes a positive run in the cup could reap rewards in the league, and hopes Saturday's tie can kickstart a winning run.

"We've been in relatively good form in terms of not having lost games, however we are in a position at the moment where we want to start turning draws into wins.

"I think that's going to be the crucial transition for us in terms of getting those wins and getting three points on the board.


"I understand this is a cup game but we need to look at the bigger picture and I think good performances and good wins build confidence, build momentum and we want to try and make sure that we keep going with that."


Chris Wilder's Blades are the opposition this weekend, North End were 1-0 winners when the sides faced each other last month but Neil has been impressed with the Yorkshire side this season.

On the last encounter, the manager said: "We've done a lot of analysis on them and they were one of the best teams I've seen in terms of, there hadn't really been anyone who has completed dominated them, which is unusual.

"Usually there is one really poor performance somewhere along the course of the season and I would go as far as to say I think we are one of the best teams to play against them, certainly that day.

"So we are going to have to put in another performance like that to make sure we try and win, but they are good at home, they are a good side, they've got some good players.

"I think they are very much like us, they are a working man's club, they put in the time, the effort, the grit. They are well organised, they work really hard so it's going to be a really tough match."

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


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