Preston boss Alex Neil describes his men as brave after draw away at Leeds United

Alex Neil praised his ‘brave’ Preston North End side after they were denied a win against Leeds United by an 89th minute equaliser.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 6:00 am
Preston North End's Alan Browne is congratulated by Tom Barkhuizen, left, and David Nugent, right, after scoring his side's first goal

Alan Browne had put PNE ahead in the 22nd minute, an excellent breakaway from the visitors coolly finished off by the Irishman.

Stuart Dallas was the Leeds man to draw level, his effort from outside the box deflecting off Ryan Ledson into the top corner.

North End took the lead after a strong opening and the PNE boss lauded their start.

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He said: “Our pressure in the first 30 minutes was sensational.

“There won’t be many teams that come here and do that to them.

“It was a great performance, unfortunately it took a deflected goal to take two points from us.

“But I thought the players effort, the gameplan, how we pressurised the ball – because coming her to play that way, you’ve got to be really brave.

“If you get that wrong you’re going to get hurt, I thought we did magnificently well. You have to do it as a unit, you can’t do it as ones and twos or you’re going to get picked off.

“You need to accept at times that they might play through you on occasions, providing that’s not more than how many times we do nick it and try and hurt them, then it’s worth doing.

“We worked on that percentage in terms of trying to put that in our favour and I think we did.”

Alex Neil enjoyed testing himself against Marcelo Bielsa in the home fixture and relished it even more this time around.

Bielsa praised North End’s style and players in his programme notes and there is certainly a mutual respect between the two managers.

“It’s probably even better away from home, because I’d say it’s more difficult,” Neil explained. “You need to find that solution, you need to do it well.

“If you don’t do it well they will hurt you because they are the type of team that want to play in the spaces that you’ve left.

“We did it that well that we denied them that threat a lot of the game.

“I can’t realty repeat what I said before the game, but it goes along the lines of you need to be brave and be set to stand up to them here.

“I’ve seen them blitz teams here within the first 20 minutes countless times, and if anything, in the first 30 minutes we blitzed them.

“We were fantastic in those first 30 minutes, we really were great.

“Before the game you would have probably accepted it, coming to a really difficult place.

“Based on the game, we’re a little bit frustrated because we did well.”