Alex Neil reveals secret of Preston North End top scorer Callum Robinson’s success

Callum Robinson celebrates scoring Preston's winner against Bristol City at Ashton Gate
Callum Robinson celebrates scoring Preston's winner against Bristol City at Ashton Gate

Alex Neil has labelled Callum Robinson as a ‘proper team player’ after the frontman was Preston’s matchwinner against Bristol City.

Robinson got on the end of Daniel Johnson’s cross to find the net 10 minutes before the interval.

It was a fifth successive win for PNE at Ashton Gate since 2014 and they are unbeaten in 11 meetings with the Robins.

North End manager Neil said: “I was more pleased with Callum’s hard work than his goal.

“I didn’t think that last week at Ipswich he worked hard enough and I made that quite clear to him.

“But his all-round display on Saturday was excellent, he played very well.

“Callum is a proper team player and more often than not has shown that.

“Sometimes when you have scored a couple of goals you can hide up the top and wait for the ball to come to you.

“It is really important that Callum mucks in all the time – that was the most pleasing aspect of his play.”

North End are seven games unbeaten after the win in the West Country and moved up to 18th place heading into the international break.

From Neil’s point of view, that is making the analysis of his side’s performances a far more pleasant task than it was earlier in the season.

“Football peaks and troughs so often, when you win a game you have a big surge of relief,” said Neil.

“When you don’t win a game, you have the dreaded 90 minutes watching it back to look where you can improve.

“Thankfully for the last seven games we haven’t had that, whereas we had it quite a bit at the start of the season.

“We have started to tighten up defensively, which we had to do, and have got ourselves on a nice little run.”

After his heroics off the bench at Ipswich, there was a start for Paul Gallagher in PNE’s midfield.

His inclusion was at Alan Browne’s expense, Gallagher playing next to Ben Pearson, with Daniel Johnson pushed up into the No.10 role.

Said Neil: “A lot of the time Bristol City play a 4-4-2 at home and that means your spare player is the No.10.

“We wanted ours to be a more technical one rather than a runner.

“Alan Browne needed a rest as well so we went with DJ, Gally and Ben.

“I thought those middle three were outstanding, key to what we did.

“Overall it was a very good day, we knew the record we had at Bristol City and knew how much they would come out to try and change that.

“We worked extremely hard to secure the three points and I thought we thoroughly deserved them.

“All aspects of our play were very good.”