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First Team News

Neil Praises Team Effort After ‘Deserved’ Win

6 March 2018

First Team News

Neil Praises Team Effort After ‘Deserved’ Win

6 March 2018

Alex Neil couldn’t pick out a player who underperformed tonight as PNE moved within a point of the Play-Off places.

The North End boss praised his side to a man as Sean Maguire came off the bench to score the winner against the Robins tonight, and although he felt his side could have made it easier for themselves, he was pleased that his team could make it two wins from two in four days. 

Post-match to iFollow, Neil said: “I thought we deserved the win, certainly first half we deserved the lead and probably could have scored more. 

“We had some decent opportunities and then second half we had another couple of chances as well. 

“The disappointing thing is we concede but Seani manages to score another fantastic goal off the bench and then Greg Cunningham and Tom Barkhuizen have chances.

“Overall we did really well, we relied on Declan to make a save but that’s what good goalkeepers do when you need them. It was a hard fought match and both sides played well but I thought we were the better side. 

“What you’ve got to remember is that we’re not full of experience and the lads are very young as a group. What they recognised with five minutes to go is how important what they’ve got and they don’t want to let it go, and your natural response is to sink and defend your goal and that’s something we need to learn.

"We need to continue to be on top of them, to press and to win the ball so we certainly did it the hard way in the last ten minutes and I certainly wasn’t comfortable but we got the job done and that’s the main thing.

“We didn’t have anybody who underperformed tonight. Billy felt his hamstring and we tried to perservere with him but it wasn’t quite right and Gally went down with his hamstring so we had to make a couple of changes.

"We were always intending on putting Seani on. I would have liked to have started him but I don’t think he’s quite ready for that at the moment but again he comes on and shows his value so there’s not much to complain about. We’ve given ourselves a great opportunity in the last ten games. I think a few people had written us off against Ipswich, but what this team does is fight until the very end.”

Few would argue that Deepdale hosted a real positive atmosphere tonight, and Neil was impressed with the effort from in the stands just as much as on the pitch, crediting the noise as the best he’s heard this campaign.

“It was the most vocal they’ve been this season which was great," continued Neil. "The players gave them a good performance to make it a good game for them and when you’re winning and scoring goals, that’s always helpful, it was a good day all round.”

Watch Alex’s interview on iFollow now. 


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