Points are all that matter says Preston North End boss Alex Neil

Alex Neil wants Preston North End to focus on points rather than position when they face Hull City tomorrow.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 19th October 2018, 6:00 am

It is a meeting of two sides in the Championship’s bottom three at the KCOM Stadium, Hull at the foot of the table and PNE in 22nd.

But with 12 games played, North End boss Neil thinks it is too early to be attaching tags to the contest.

Neil said: “It is going to be a game with a lot of effort and endeavour, both teams will understand it is important due to the nature of where we are in the league.

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Ryan Ledson is likely to return to Preston's midfield against Hull City on Saturday

“We have to remove that from our heads because it is just three points.

“This is early in the season, it is not as if in three games’ time the league is going to end and we need to get ourselves out of trouble.

“We just need to go there, be composed, understand what we are doing, go and play as well as we can.

“If we do that there is no reason why we can’t go and win the game.”

Neil is likely to bring Ryan Ledson back into midfield to replaced the suspended Ben Pearson – five yellow cards forces him to sit this one out.

Ledson missed the 4-0 win over Wigan with a sprained ankle.

Said Neil: “Ryan should be okay, he had a problem with his ankle but he has trained all this week.

“It is frustrating to have Ben missing again – just as we feel we are getting people back, we miss a key player.”

Callum Robinson, Sean Maguire and Alan Browne were back training yesterday at Springfields after being on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

Robinson enjoyed the bulk of the action with the Irish, coming off the bench against Denmark and then starting the defeat to Wales. Maguire was a second-half substitute for Robinson in the Wales game, with Browne not featuring in either game.

Robinson and Browne are certain starters tomorrow, with Maguire likely to be on the bench as he is eased back after his hamstring injury.

North End did the double over Hull last season, winning both games 2-1.

Bringing three points back from Humberside would be a big boost heading into home matches against Brentford and Rotherham.

Neil said: “Both games with Hull last season were quite tight, we scored in the last minute at their place on the counter-attack.

“At home we went a goal down and had to fight back to get the win.

“Hull’s squad contains some good players, their two wide players are very effective.

“They have got a variety of strikers which enables them to go with pace or a targetman.

“We have to negate their threats.”