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First Team News

Alex Neil Applauds Team Effort

10 November 2018

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First Team News

Alex Neil Applauds Team Effort

10 November 2018

Alex Neil couldn’t pick a player who played below par for North End today as his side made it seven unbeaten with a 1-0 win over Bristol City with a fantastic away team performance.

The manager reserved special praise for Daniel Johnson post-match, but felt the Lilywhites were just as fantastic defensively as they were going forward this afternoon.

”We had three or four really good opportunities to extend the lead," assessed the Scotsman after the game. "we didn’t do that but I think we thoroughly deserved to win the game.

"Defensively we were absolutely solid and I don’t remember a chance really where Bristol City should have scored. Not only that, I felt we should have scored more so it’s a great three points for us and I thought the lads did brilliantly.

“They were fantastic and you could argue that’s one of DJ’s best games since I’ve been here. I think the addition of Paul Gallagher in there gave us composure and we managed to play away from pressure really well but I don’t think there’s one player in the team who let us down today. Another clean sheet as well which is nice and there’s no real negative to take from it.

“DJ has real quality and we’ve played him in that No. 10 role today to try and pick up the pockets and feed Seani through and get into good areas and I thought it worked really well.

"We’re making up for some lost time where we didn’t start the season well which we’re all frustrated about but I think that’s firmly behind us now. We’re now looking up at the table and starting to pick up some important wins and today was a massive one for us.”

Johnson’s inclusion in the number ten role gave Gallagher the chance to fill the void after his heroics last weekend with the manager making two changes from that 1-1 draw to Ipswich.

The other was an enforced change as Declan Rudd came in for the suspended Chris Maxwell, and although the manager was pleased with Rudd’s performance and clean sheet, he also pointed to the fact he had little to do, testament to North End’s dominance this afternoon. 

“Sometimes as a goalkeeper you don’t have a save to make and then you need a vital one in the 89th minute,” said the manager after Rudd was forced into action to save Josh Brownhill’s free kick late on. “But Dec was good today and his kicking in the main was very good.

"The result was the most important thing today; we’ve got the International break coming so we knew today was about the win and we did that.

“Seven games unbeaten in this league is no mean feat. We’re really pleased but we’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us but that’s a step in the right direction.

“It’s great for the fans today and we were keen to show our appreciation at the end as we did against Ipswich last week because they travel a long way to watch us and it really does make a difference and the lads appreciate it.”

Watch Alex's full interview on iFollowPNE now. 

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