PNE boss Alex Neil says Burnley defeat was a good test for his side

Alex Neil felt Preston North End had given a decent account of themselves in the Deepdale defeat to Burnley.

Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 1:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 2:52 pm
PNE manager Alex Neil

The Clarets were 3-2 winners in an entertaining pre-season friendly on Monday night.

Josh Harrop gave North End the lead, with Aaron Lennon swiftly equalising for the visitors.

Dan Agyei then put Burnley in front, a deficit PNE pegged back within two minutes through Callum Robinson.

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PNE manager Alex Neil

The visitors netted their winner in the 84th minute, Dwight McNeil on target.

North End boss Neil said: "I thought it was a good game and I didn't think we deserved to lose if I'm being honest.

"We had quite a lot of shots on goal, had some good opportunities.

"It was a good exercise for us because Burnley were very different to how West Ham were on Saturday.

Sean Maguire and Callum Robinson close-in on James Tarkowski

"West Ham tended to play against you so we were dealing with one versus one duals all the time.

"Burnley were very rigid in their shape which meant we had to break them down, that was a good test for us."

The second-half performance pleased Neil slightly more than that in the first half, with the better chances coming after the interval.

Neil said: "Like against West Ham, we improved in the second half.

Sean Dyche and Alex Neil shake hands before kick-off at Deepdale

"We ironed out one or two things at half-time in terms of hunting and pressing the ball and we improved on that front.

"Off memory, we had more chances in the second half than in the first half while Burnley had some good chances in the first half which they didn't really take.

"In the second half, Burnley had two, maybe three chances, two of which ended-up in the back of the net.

"I would argue that they should have scored more in the first half and we should have scored more in the second half.

"There was not a lot between the teams and what was difficult for us to handle was Burnley refreshing all their side in the second half.

"We've done that ourselves and it changes the game - the substitutes come on fresh against lads who have played for approaching an hour.

"It's an unusual situation, one you only get in pre-season really.

"Never during a season does a team trip off and the next one strolls on for 30 minutes."