Preston manager ready to go the distance against Burton

Alex Neil will accept another late show from his Preston side at Burton tomorrow if it maintains their good run.

Friday, 8th December 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 11:46 pm

The Lilywhites had to wait until the 88th minute to hit their winner against Queens Park Rangers last week.

Neil has noted that Burton have been conceding late goals in recent weeks, which perhaps is something to bear in mind as PNE look to make it five games unbeaten.

However, he has also warned the visitors to expect a tough test at the Pirelli Stadium, even though Albion currently prop up the Championship.

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Daniel Johnson will return to the Preston squad at Burton after suspension

Said Neil:“I always find Burton a really difficult place to go. Their home record last season was excellent, it was tough to go there and win.

“I think they’ve been a bit unfortunate, I’ve watched quite a few of their games. They’re a decent side, they are hard to break down and what they’ve done is conceded a lot of late goals which has really killed them in terms of points.

“Off the top of my head, Ipswich scored late there and probably didn’t deserve to win the game.

“Sunderland scored two late goals against them, Cardiff scored late against them, Derby scored late last week.

Daniel Johnson will return to the Preston squad at Burton after suspension

“So that’s quite a lot points that with 10 or 15 minutes to go they’ve had in their grasp but unfortunately for them they’ve let them go.

“It shows you they’re not far away from putting in a good performance.

“They’re only 10 minutes away from doing that week in, week out.

“We want to go there and win the game and I think if we can perform as well as we can then there is no reason why we can’t do that.”

Neil’s selection options will be boosted by the return after suspension of Daniel Johnson and Stephy Mavididi’s likely recovery from a hamstring injury.

What will give him further food for thought in terms of picking the team is how well two half-time tactical changes worked against QPR.

Alan Browne and Tom Clarke were substituted and replaced by Josh Harrop and Kevin O’Connor.

Neil said: “Alan and Tom were probably a bit frustrated that they got taken off.

“I decided we needed a bit of natural width in the full-back positions so I brought Kevin O’Connor on.

“We also needed a bit of creativity which Josh Harrop gave us.

“My job is to win games and at times I will make difficult decisions to try and do that.

“Sometimes it might be a bit undeserved that a player is left out or taken off.

“Alan and Tom had done fine last week, it was not about what they had to offer but was simply a case of horses for courses.”