Boss Alex Neil believes Preston North End will bounce back after defeat at Derby County

Alex Neil will be hoping that Preston show their powers of recovery again when they face Hull City tonight.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 6:00 am
Paul Gallagher could start for Preston against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium tonight
Paul Gallagher could start for Preston against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium tonight

They travel to the KCOM Stadium (7.45pm) looking to get the 1-0 defeat against Derby out of their system.

PNE have done that well after previous Championship losses this campaign, twice winning their next game and drawing the other.

After losing at Millwall on the opening day, they bounced back to beat Wigan 3-0.

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The defeat to Swansea was followed by a 3-1 victory over Stoke, while they drew with Leeds after losing at Reading.

North End manager Neil said: “Saturday’s defeat was quite straightforward.

“In the first half we didn’t play well, every facet of our performance was disappointing .

“The second half was much better but the fact is we didn’t really create chances to get something from the game.

“Derby didn’t do anything we didn’t expect them to do in terms of how they played.

“They played four forward players against our five defensive players, and six defensive players against our five attacking players.

“The simple fact is that in both areas Derby were brighter and sharper than us in the first half.

“Sometimes that happens and you have to take your medicine, come back stronger the next time.

“We will be wanting to do that at Hull and hopefully we can put in a good display.”

The Derby defeat came on the back of an international break, as did the loss at Reading last month. Just twice in his PNE reign has Neil’s side won after such a break.

Said Neil: “If you look at the results, naturally it doesn’t look good for whatever reason.

“We have altered things through the international break. After the first break of the season, we came back and beat Brentford 2-0 so it hasn’t all been bad.

“It can just depend on how you perform on the day – at Derby we were sluggish all over the pitch in the first half.”

Neil could make changes tonight, not just in response to Saturday’s defeat but also if he decides a change of strategy would be beneficial.

Paul Gallagher came off the bench at half-time at Derby and made a positive impact, which is likely to put him in line for a start.

Billy Bodin came on at the same time as Gallagher and is an option to freshen things up along the front line.

North End will check the fitness of Ben Davies after the defender limped off with an ankle injury on Saturday.

An extra few days of training could have put Josh Harrop in the frame for a place in the squad.

He has been out of action for more than a month with a hamstring strain.