Alex Neil “content rather than happy” with Preston’s start

Preston manager Alex Neil is content with the progress of his side going into the second international break.

The Lilywhites are sixth in the Championship with 20 points from 11 games.

Alex Neil saultes the fans after PNE's draw with Sunderland on Saturday.

Alex Neil saultes the fans after PNE's draw with Sunderland on Saturday.

Neil thinks the points tally should be higher, that a nod to three of September’s home games being drawn.

But looking at the whole picture, he is pleased with how the opening two months have gone.

“We are doing well but a frustration is the three draws at home,” Neil told the Post.

“Against Millwall we didn’t play that well so a draw was fair I thought.

“On Saturday we were in the lead so I felt we should have won that one.

“I think we did enough to win against Barnsley at the start of the month.

“Could you argue that we probably merited a few more points? Maybe we did.

“Twenty points out of 11 games is a good start, but I would say we were content with that rather than happy.

“When you look at some of the games, we could have done a bit more.”

North End’s draw against Sunderland stretched their unbeaten run to eight games.

They resume action a week on Saturday at Fulham, that the first of back-to-back away games with a visit to Wolves coming next.

Two home games follow against Brentford and Aston Villa, with a trip to Ipswich coming before the November international break.

Neil will use the current break to get some work done on the training pitch as well as giving the squad a breather.

He said: “The lads have had a couple of days off after the Sunderland game and now we go into a real intensive three days or so of work.

“Then we will give them a few days rest which is good mentally more than anything.

“Then we will build-up to the next game with a full week.”

The squad will be shy of four players over the coming days due to international duty.

Sean Maguire and Daryl Horgan yesterday made the final cut for the Republic of Ireland squad which will face World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales.

Both were named last week in a 32-man provisional squad by Martin O’Neill and have done enough to be in the main group.

It is the first time Maguire has made a full squad, having not made the cut last month.

North End goalkeeper Chris Maxwell is the Wales squad for the first squad to play Georgia and the Irish.

Stephy Mavididi, who came on as a substitute for PNE against Sunderland, is in the England Under-20s squad.

England have friendlies against Italy on Thursday and then the Czech Republic next Monday.