Déjà vu for Alex Neil as Preston North End come up short in front of goal in Norwich defeat

Preston boss Alex Neil was left with a sense of deja vu after his side's disappointing defeat at Norwich last night.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 8:25 am
Callum Robinson cuts a dejected figure after Norwich open the scoring at Carrow Road

ALSO READ: Norwich City 2-0 Preston North End: Late goals condemn PNE to defeat on poor night at Carrow RoadThe Lilywhites manager saw his side control large parts of the game and have the better chances only to be undone by two late goals in the 2-0 reverse at Carrow Road.

Callum Robinson came the closest to breaking the deadlock 15 minutes from time when Tim Krul helped his shot onto the underside of the crossbar, the ball bouncing to safety.

PNE were then undone by goals from Teemu Pukki and Alex Tettey in the closing stages to leave the manager frustrated and rueing a familiar tale.

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Callum Robinson cuts a dejected figure after Norwich open the scoring at Carrow Road

“It’s been a little bit of the same story for the last couple of weeks,” said Neil.

“We beat QPR 1-0 but we should have scored three or four. We then went to Swansea and while they were better in the first half we were excellent in the second and created good opportunities and didn’t take them.

“Against Stoke we took the lead twice and had great opportunities but didn’t put the game to bed.

“You could say the same again here.

“Being clinical is absolutely crucial at this level and if you don’t put your chances away then it’s always going to be difficult.”

North End were fully in control before things unravelled late on.

Neil had set up in an unfamiliar 4-4-2 formation with Lukas Nmecha and Louis Moult up top before reverting back to 4-2-3-1 with the introduction of Daniel Johnson in the second half.

“The game was alright, it wasn’t anything special and the first goal was always going to win it,” said the PNE boss.

“I felt in more danger in the first half than in the second.

“Their left-hand side caused us problems. Onel Hernandez was good, he was quick and got in behind us a few times.

“They didn’t really get any attempts on target at the end of it but they looked threatening.

“Second half we reverted back to our general style of play but I knew it was going to do one of two things.

“It was going to help us go on and win the game or it was going to open the game up and they could punish us and that’s what happened.”

Prior to kick-off at Carrow Road it was announced that Johnson had extended his North End contract for a further two years until the summer of 2021, his previous deal set to expire at the end of the season.

“That’s been an on-going saga for us but it’s put to bed and we can just focus on football,” said Neil.

“We’ve got real competition in midfield at themoment.”