Alex Neil on the importance of Preston North End’s victory going into the international break

Alex Neil felt it was crucial that Preston North End went into the international break with a first Championship victory under their belt.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 12:30 pm

The stirring second-half comeback at Brentford in which they turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 win lifted PNE to 15th place in the early-season table.

Neil does not think that position and the four points they have on the board is truly reflective of how his side have started the campaign.

Reflecting on victory at the Brentford Community Stadium and what has gone on in the first few weeks of the season, Neil said: “We showed the quality needed to score four goals away from home.

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Ryan Ledson congratulates Scott Sinclair during Preston’s win at Brentford on Sunday

“We were brave in the second half, we had to go on the front foot.

“I think we are in good form, against Stoke the week before we got a man sent off after 20 minutes and were doing really well – we looked fine with 10 men too.

“We could have won at Norwich, so four points hasn’t really shown how well we have done.

“It was important we went into the break with a win.

“We are moving into the new Euxton training ground this week so everything is rosy again.

“That is the life of a football manager, one minute you are lower than a snake’s belly the next everything is good.”

Neil admitted he did not need to dish out a half-time telling-off to his players to inspire Sunday’s fight back.

An Ivan Toney double put Thomas Frank’s outfit in control before half-time but four goals in 18 minutes saw North End stun the hosts.

Scott Sinclair scored twice before Brad Potts and Sean Maguire found the net.

Said Neil: “It was more a case of brushing up on a few things during half-time.

“There had been bits I hadn’t been happy with, we were trying little flicks around the edge of the box and we just needed to take a bit more care.

“At half-time sometimes you need to repair something in terms of how you are pressing the ball or using your spare player.

“We didn’t need to repair anything, we just needed to do certain things a bit better and show real bravery.

“In the first half we didn’t deal with the direct ball well enough but the two centre-backs were much better in the second half.

“We were well worth our win and it’s the first time that we have gone to Brentford and had more possession.”