Alex Neil laments poor defending in Preston North End's defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road

Preston North End manager Alex Neil felt his side 'gave as good as we got' for parts of the defeat to Watford but ultimately were undone by poor defending.

By Dave Seddon
Saturday, 28th November 2020, 6:07 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th November 2020, 2:22 am

PNE went down to a 4-1 loss at Vicarage Road, Tom Barkhuizen scoring their goal with a deflected shot.

They had their moments in the game but for the last half hour or so, it was one-way traffic towards their penalty box.

Neil said: "I thought it was always going to be a difficult game for us when you look at Watford's squad, they are down from the Premier League and full of quality players.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Preston North End defender Ben Davies in action against Watford

"Equally when you look at what we have missing at the moment, we don't have a fit full-back or cover for a full-back available.

"We felt it best to put out a back five and put our quickest players in there to try and deal with the threat down the sides.

"I thought it was a good competitive match for about 60 minutes and then we didn't defend basic stuff in and around the box well enough.

"When you give Watford or any team at the top end of the table quite cheaply, you find it doubly difficult.

"We had a penalty shout at 3-1. I was too far away to see if it was or not but had we got it, that would have potentially made it 3-2 and got us back in the ga,e

"As soon as the fourth goal went in, that was game over."

Neil was able to include Ben Davies and Ben Pearson in a much-changed line-up, the PNE boss thinking they provided some quality.

"Overall, I don't think we defended well enough, although Watford will look at the goals and be pleased with what they did," said Neil.

"For spells, especially in the first half I thought we gave as good as we got. We knew it would be a case of both teams having spells of the game, it was how well we used it.

"The two Bens made us better in terms of the use of the ball and we carried a threat in the first half.

"But in the second half apart from the penalty claim and getting down the sides a couple of times, I thought the Watford centre-backs were excellent and dealt well with us.

"We found it tough to have any sustained pressure the second half."

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here/subscriptions