Alex Neil explains why he was left fuming by Preston North End's defeat at Rotherham

Alex Neil was left to rue a lack of composure and some poor decision making as Preston North End’s unbeaten away run came to an end against Rotherham.

Monday, 9th November 2020, 8:00 am

The Lilywhites now have the international break to mull over the 2-1 defeat before resuming action on November 21 against Sheffield Wednesday.

PNE boss Neil admitted his side had been the authors of their own downfall in the fact they hauled themselves back into the game only to concede late on to give the Millers their victory.

Rotherham had taken the lead early in the second half before Ryan Ledson levelled 10 minutes from time.

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Substitute Jayden Stockley (left) hit the post in stoppage time to almost earn a point for PNE at Rotherham

But in the 86th minute Brad Potts’ square pass, which lacked the power to reach Joe Rafferty, saw the hosts break from their own half at speed to race upfield and score the winner.

Many aspects of North End’s display frustrated Neil, especially coming on the back of their best away performance to date at Reading.

Neil said: “We needed to show more composure, stay on the ball, find a bit of movement in front of us.

“Instead we just kicked the ball the way we were facing.

“The first 30 minutes the game was at full tilt, it was hell for leather.

“In that spell we had to turn the ball and play off the second ball, make it stick at the top, something we didn’t do well enough.

“Once the game settled down after 30 minutes, I changed the shape and gave us a spare player in midfield.

“We didn’t find that spare player, our use of the ball wasn’t good enough.

“The only player to use the ball well was Ryan Ledson – he was the only one to show a bit of composure, put his foot on it and pick passes out.”

Even though PNE were well below par, Neil thought that Ledson’s equaliser should have been the cue for them to push on and win.

“After Ryan scored you could feel our momentum building,” said Neil.

“In that position you have to make good decisions when you have the ball and when you don’t have it.

“We made a bad decision with the ball by giving it to them and then a bad decision when we didn’t have the ball by not falling back into our slots quickly enough.

“If you combine both of those things, it isn’t good and that cost us their second goal.

“We needed to capitalise after a good performance at Reading and had we won we would have been on 16 points and probably in the top 10.

“Understanding our home form has been poor, such a points tally would have seen us in good shape.

“But it didn’t work out that way, the result was absolutely rubbish.”

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