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First Team News

Alex Neil Looking Forward To First Taste Of Gentry Day

1 March 2018

Manager Alex Neil is looking forward to experiencing Gentry Day for the first time since joining the club in the summer.

North End face neighbours Bolton Wanderers at Macron Stadium this weekend, and after the game was selected by the fans as the venue for this season's Gentry Day, the gaffer is hoping his side can put on a performance and get three points to mark the occasion.

Speaking to iFollow PNE ahead of the Sky Bet Championship clash, the manager said: “I think it’ll be a good game. I think it’s always nice when you're playing one of your local neighbours, it means it’s not a long trip for the fans. Generally, when that happens the attendance will be better, so hopefully we can have a good following and hopefully put on a good performance.”

On Gentry Day, the PNE boss continued: "I’ve heard about it obviously before I came here, and I’ve learnt more about it since a came here. It will be a unique experience for me, I’ve never seen so many bowler hats in one place!

"I’m just hoping we can play well and the fans can have a good day and obviously remember everybody who is connected with Preston North End who have passed away.”

This weekend's game comes after only a second defeat in 18 for the Lilyhwhites last weekend, and the manager feels a week without a midweek game will have been beneficial to his side going into Saturday's match.

“I think mentally and physically we probably needed a little bit of rest, just a couple of days just to regroup.

"But, as always when you maybe don’t play as well as you would like you want to get back out there and put it right and put it to bed, this is going to be a good chance for us to do that.

"We know it’s going to be a tough game, Bolton have had some really good results of late and we are going to have to go there and play very well.”

"I think what they have done is they have found a formula and a method which has been a very difficult nut to crack," the gaffer said of Phil Parkinson's side. "Obviously, we are going there on Saturday and we are going to try and see what we can do against it.

"They have got some dangerous players, they will be confident, certainly with their recent form and recent results, so we are going to have to go there and play very well.”

Saturday's hosts have turned their form around of late and with a number of experienced players in their side, Neil knows that the Trotters will be a tough opponent. 

"That’s always the difficulties, when you have got that know how and you're trying to break that down. They have proved they are a really really difficult team to break down. They have some fantastic results against some very technical teams, I think the Fulham result in particular stands out, they are in fine form as well, they drew 1-1 with them at the Macron.

"So we know it’s going to be a tough day and whenever you play a local rival I think form and all the rest of it goes out the window. It really comes down to how you perform on the day."

North End are unbeaten in nine on the road, and the manager feels that with the pressure on the home side to perform, it allows for a more open game where his team can express themselves.

“I certainly think so," the gaffer said on the freedom away from home. "Especially since we lost Jordan (Hugill). I think he was a big factor for us in terms of getting us up the pitch, whereas now we are having to build a bit more.

"We have been missing Paul Gallagher which has been a big blow for us in terms of us for that sense, and Daniel Johnson has been missing for a couple of games as well.

"It’s difficult because when teams come to our place like Ipswich did, they made it really difficult for us to break them down and we struggle to do that so that is something we need to improve on.

"Away from home there is more of an emphasis on the home team to come at us and that is what suits us down to the ground”.

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

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