Alex Neil was happy for his side to put another point on the board by coming away with a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough from their Tuesday night trip to the Riverside Stadium.
His Preston North End team made it seven games unbeaten in the Championship after a hard-fought game in the North East, which saw Josh Harrop’s goal five minutes before the break cancelled out by an unfortunate Darnell Fisher own goal just minutes afterwards.
Although the manager felt there were elements of the performance which might have been better, he told iFollow PNE after the game that taking a point from the game was important to keep up the team’s upward momentum.
“I think it just shows how far we’ve come because the lads are a bit disappointed tonight,” Alex told the club’s video channel. “I think we played okay but I think we know we can play a bit better.
“The one thing I will say is that Middlesbrough have got some good players, so we certainly shouldn’t underestimate coming here and getting a good point.
“The most important thing is that we keep adding points to the tally because the simple fact is – I know people keep getting excited – we’ve played ten games.
“It’s a long, hard season, we’ve just got to keep racking up the points and then once it gets to the second half of the season, that’s when we need to really ramp it up.
“We’ll hopefully go and get a result Saturday and that will take some good momentum into the break.”
Alex felt neither side created enough to warrant taking all three points from the game.
“The pitch was massive and we tried to stretch them at one end, they tried to stretch us at their end and I thought the middle of the pitch became really big.
“I thought a point was probably a fair result to be honest– I thought over the piece, first half, we probably controlled the ball a little bit more but they probably looked a little bit more threatening.
“Second half, we probably looked a bit more threatening, but I don’t think either team really did enough to win game because there wasn’t too many clear-cut chances where you think you should have won.
“I think our best chances comes where Tommy B gets down the right and cuts it to DJ, probably a little bit too much weight on the pass and we don’t get a clean connection and that was probably our best opening.
“Our biggest disappointment is probably not keeping the lead for longer – it was really frustrating because I thought it was a sloppy goal, they just put it in the channel, they get the better of us down the side and then when it gets cut back, we lose our runner through the middle and then even the ball across, we don’t get a block, which we should have done and it ends up in the back of the net.”
However, the boss felt a penalty should have been awarded to the Lilywhites when Tom Barkhuizen appeared to have been fouled by Boro skipper Daniel Ayala inside the 18-yard area in the first half.
”I thought it was a penalty, we got denied a couple at the weekend as well, and I always believe that if a defender is wrong side and has made an attempt to go through the player to get the ball and doesn’t make contact, then it’s a penalty. I
"I've seen it back and I’m really disappointed we didn’t get it, I was appealing a lot when it happened because I was looking right down the line at it. I think as soon as soon Tom gets his body in front, any sort of contact through the back has got to be a penalty. I’d be really surprised if they don’t look back at that and don’t think they’ve got it wrong.”
Attentions now turn to Barnsley’s visit to Deepdale on Saturday with Alex on scouting duties tomorrow night as the Tykes take on Derby County.
“We’re going to take the game in, we’ve already watched bits and bobs of them anyway, but it will be good to go there live and get a feel for it”
Watch Alex’s post-match thoughts in full now by clicking the video above.