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First Team News

Manager Pleased With Performance

7 July 2018

North End kicked off the 2018/19 pre-season schedule with a 7-0 win over Bamber Bridge and manager Alex Neil was pleased with his side's performance in the victory.

The Lilywhites put on an impressive display, particularly in the first half with five goals to show for their attacking performance, and the gaffer felt his side showed their progression from the same fixture last summer despite a similar result.

Speaking after the final whistle, the PNE boss told iFollow PNE: "I thought it was good, winning any game is obviously pleasing. I think the first half performance was really fluent, we scored five goals there, scored another two in the second half and missed a penalty.

"The second half was always going to be a bit more difficult because it was damage limitation for them at that stage. At that point they just sunk back in and I don't think they really ventured in to our half very often.

It's a good starting point for us, in terms of the performance, there was a big improvement from when we played here last year although the scoreline was similar. I think a lot of our movements and our quality was good today.

"I thought our handling of the ball was better, I thought the quality of some of the goals was excellent and I thought in the first half, when they came out and tried to match us up, I think we showed our quality. It's really pleasing, the most important thing for us at the moment is that we have come out of the game having done relatively well and no one has picked up an injury so far."

The match was also a chance for supporters as well as the manager to see the new signings in action, with three of the five summer signings pulling on the PNE shirt for the first time at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Graham Burke got his PNE career off to the perfect start with an early goal to open the scoring, while Jordan Storey and Andrew Hughes each got 45 minutes under their belts, and the gaffer was pleased with what he saw.

"It's always tough because you need to get used to your teammates and different things, I think the fact that Graham Burke in particular had played with Seani at international level, and knows some of the lads, has really helped him bed in.

"I thought Andrew Hughes up and down the left side was good and Jordan Storey came in and did well as well."

One player that missed the game through injury was Ryan Ledson, with the manager explaining: "Ryan went over on his ankle so he should resume training on Tuesday and then we can take him from there."

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


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