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First Team News

Neil Happy With ‘Good Test’

13 July 2019

Alex Neil is happy with the good test that AFC Fylde provided for his PNE side in North End’s 4-0 win over the Coasters.

A hattrick from Sean Maguire and a fine finish from Billy Bodin provided the four goals for the Lilywhites. Fylde’s approach to the game pleased the gaffer, who enjoyed the way his side punished the hosts.

Speaking to iFollowPNE, he said: “I thought it was good. Certainly, the first 45 minutes was excellent.

“Fylde beat Wigan during the week and tried to get after us and get at us; which is good for us because sometimes when you’re playing lower league teams they sit off the ball and it’s just a case of keep it and move it.

“It was a good test, we had to compete well and punish them when we had the opportunities.”

The two goalscorers stood out for the manager, despite Billy Bodin’s prolonged absence in the last campaign and Sean Maguire reporting late for pre-season due to international selection.

“He’s come back a little bit later because of international duty and we got a straight 60 minutes out of him straight away,” he said.

“You can see he’s strong, he’s quick. I thought he did both sides of the game very well, he dropped in and linked it, and then spun and got in behind and he was a real threat.

“You could see as well what Billy brings to us, he has real technical quality. There’s a lot of plus points.

“He trained for about the last month of last season without really having a carrot in front of him in terms of a game, because we didn’t want to risk him.

“I think we’re reaping the benefits of that now. He’s started to really hit the ground running in pre-season and hopefully he can go from strength to strength.

“We just want to get as many minutes in him as we can.”

With good backing from PNE fans, Neil believes they were given value for money this afternoon.

“The fans will want to see the likes of Billy, Patrick that we’ve signed, and they’ll want to see how the lads are faring, in terms of the likes of Seani coming back.

“We gave them value for money today, I thought we were very good, certainly for spells in the game.”

You can watch the full interview with Alex Neil by clicking on the video above.

 


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