Alex Neil says PNE more than deserved point at Leeds

Alex Neil was pleased with 10-man Preston North End's draw with Leeds United at Elland Road.

Saturday, 12th August 2017, 10:19 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:13 pm
Alex Neil at Elland Road

North End played the last 30 minutes a man light after midfielder Ben Pearson was sent-off for two bookings.

Until then, Neil felt the visitors had been the better side, with them having the better of the play.

PNE manager Neil said: "I thought we deserved three points with how well we played.

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Alex Neil at Elland Road

"You can separate the game into two parts, when we had 11 men each I thought we were the better side - the most dominant side.

"We moved the ball better, we won our battles and created better chances than Leeds.

Ben Pearson is sent-off against Leeds

"Up to that point things were going well and then we got a man sent-off.

"We had to adopt a different approach, the lads did extremely well and showed good discipline in terms of keeping our shape.

"Leeds were always going to put us under pressure and create opportunities, and when we needed Chris Maxwell to make saves, he did.

"As the game went on we got an opportunity which hit the bar.

Alex Neil at Elland Road

"All in all, I couldn't have asked any more of the lads, they were terrific.

"I think it is quite interesting that what we did in the first 60 minutes was relatively new for us in terms of how we play.

"But to go back into your shape and shuffle across was something they had been doing for a few years.

"So it was quite a simple transition in terms of going into that style."

Ben Pearson is sent-off against Leeds

Neil had mixed feelings about Pearson's dismissal, one which will rule him out of Tuesday night's visit to Derby County.

The 22-year-old was booked after 31 minutes for a sliding challenge on Eunan O'Kane, then saw red for pulling back Kalvin Phillips.

Neil said: "The first one was disappointing, the referee will say Ben flung his body at it but I think he won the ball cleanly and there was no danger to the opponent.

"The second one was frustrating and disappointing for us.

"I have spoken to the boy about his discipline because he picks up too many bookings.

"It is a bit of naivety because he is a young lad and was too eager to pull someone back.

"He should have let the lad go and try and recover.

"That is something he will have to learn and we will certainly miss him."