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First Team News

Alex Neil Left To Rue Missed Opportunities

30 March 2018

Alex Neil was frustrated that North End couldn’t convert their opportunities, particularly in the first half this afternoon, and felt his side were ‘architects of their own downfall’.

Alex Neil’s side went in at the break as the dominant side and could have been ahead through Ben Davies - who had the chance to head PNE ahead on the stroke of half-time only for his header to be well stopped by the Owls’ goalkeeper. 

Goals from Adthe Nuhiu and Lucas Joao sent the hosts ahead early on in the second half, and despite Louis Moult’s first goal for the club, Wednesday managed two goals in added time which ultimately gave the hosts a flattering scoreline - and speaking after the game, Neil was disappointed that they didn’t make their dominance count when they were on top in the game.

Post-match to iFollowPNE, the Scotsman said: “It’s one of them strange games where first half, they couldn’t get out of their half and we had some good opportunities where if we’d had put a cross in or got the ball away quicker we might have been ahead, but we were dominant in the game and really good in the first half.

“At half-time they made a change and too be honest, we just didn’t deal with it well enough for the first 15 minutes. However, the first goal comes from a mistake; they come down the side and we go down far too easily and the ball comes in and it ends up in the back of the net. 

“We’re then pushing to try and get a goal back and I think it’s Barry Bannan who picks a good pass for Lucas Joao to run in behind and loops a header into the far corner, and I think to myself, how did we get to this point? 

We were the dominant side. We make a couple of alterations and even before we get a goal and make the changes we miss three golden opportunities. We then get the goal and then have several more chances to score and as we know, goals change games and then towards the death, we throw caution to the wind and get men forward and we get hurt and concede two. 

“The one we concede from a corner is defensively the worst goal I’ve seen us concede since I’ve been here but If we go one or two goals up, it changes the game. The fact is we’ve conceded four goals which is unacceptable for us and we’re going to have to be a lot better defensively. 

Neil’s men have little time to dwell on the misfortune of today’s result with a huge game against Derby County to look forward to on Monday in front of the cameras, and the gaffer believes today’s result makes the magnitude of Monday’s game even bigger in their quest for a top six slot. 

He continued: “If you’re ever going to achieve something - sometimes you need to feel a bit of pain - and then it’s how you react and respond to that. 

"We’ll analyse it tomorrow, and if we’ve got any ambitions to get in the top six then defensively and individually, we can’t make as many bad decisions as we made today. 

"We’re at that stage of the season where we can’t afford to have many more slip ups. I don’t think we played badly today and we applied ourselves well, the lads were up for the game, we had good opportunities but we didn’t deal with the two big lads well in the second half. 

“We’ve got a game on Monday and we can’t dwell on this now. It becomes massive for us now and if we’re going to get into the Play-Offs, these are the games we have to try and win.”

Watch more of Alex Neil’s interview who also discusses Louis Moult’s first goal for the club by heading to iFollowPNE now.

 


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