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First Team News

Alex Neil: "It's A Sign Of A Great Team"

13 March 2019

Manager Alex Neil felt the manner of his side's victory over Middlesbrough showed the 'signs of a great team' in being able to take three points when not at their best.

The Lilywhites came from a goal down to win 2-1 on Teesside, and after Jayden Stockley grabbed the winner in front of the travelling fans, the manager spoke to iFollow PNE and gave his thoughts on a hard fought victory.

"It was a difficult match for us." Alex told the club's media channel. "I changed the shape and it didn’t work for us and that’s putting it lightly. We were really poor first half but the shape didn’t help us and that was my call so I got that one wrong.

"Middlesbrough were well on top and deservedly took the lead and we were fortunate to just be one down. I changed it at half-time and we looked far more comfortable.

"We had to be really aggressive in that second half and we brought Brandon on which gave us width and to get us up the top end of the pitch more and we did that and we improved. The red card changes the game in our favour."

The gaffer admitted a number of players weren't at the top of their game on Wednesday night but feels they deserve plenty of credit for coming away with the win once again, for the sixth time in a row on the road.

"Many of our players didn’t have their best game, but they have done what they needed to do at crucial times and that’s the sign of a very good team. We have played really well on occasions this season, tonight we didn't but we will get better. We've got a few key players missing but we will come back again.

"I think we are now two points outside of the Play-Offs at the moment, so to do what we've done, six wins away from home, 11 games unbeaten, It's remarkable for the players really.

"It’s a sign of a great team that we didn’t play well at all tonight yet got the three points; we’ve played well plenty of times this season and not got anything.

"We should be extremely proud of our players because I think everybody in general is quick to criticise when things aren't going well so I think the lads deserve a huge amount of credit."

The gaffer also had praise for matchwinner Jayden Stockley, who put in an impressive performance as a second half substitute and played a key role in the turnaround.

"I thought Jayden Stockley was by far the most dominant he has been since he joined the club. I had a good chat with him after the game, and he should be extremely proud of his contribution when he came on, he gets the winning goal which is always pleasing for a striker."

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


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