Alex Neil expects Preston North End will need all hands on deck for Championship’s return

Should Preston North End restart the season as planned in a fortnight’s time, there will have been a 15-week gap in the Championship season.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 5th June 2020, 12:30 pm

And with less than four weeks of training to build-up to that, a week of that involving no contact, it is not a surprise to learn that PNE boss Alex Neil expects to have to rotate his squad considerably for the remaining nine games.

Hopefully there will be there another three matches to come in the play-offs.

Neil told PNE’s official website: “The fact we will be playing three games a week after not playing for such a long time, means you are going to have to freshen it up more than you normally do.

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Deepdale boss Alex Neil

“I will put a lot of faith in all the players to get the job done.

“When you play three games a week normally, teams find it difficult to produce performance after performance.

“If you get an extra rest day in a sequence like that, the statistics show that it really gives a team the advantage.”

The gap between the last game against Queens Park Rangers on March 7 and the proposed June 20 restart, is about double the break a team would get in a normal summer.

A typical pre-season lasts five or six weeks, so it is going to take a big effort for players to hit their peak.

However, players did a lot more physical work during the lockdown than they would have done on their summer holidays in previous years.

All teams are in the same boat though, training restarted on the same day and in the Championship there are nine matches left for everyone. Interesting times are ahead.