Alex Neil slams Preston North End's 'lack of competitiveness' in defeat to Luton Town

Preston North End manager Alex Neil has slammed in his side's performance in their 3-0 defeat to Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

Saturday, 12th December 2020, 6:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 12th December 2020, 6:32 pm

North End were well beaten by the Hatters, James Collins scoring a hat-trick.

Neil said: "I didn't see that coming if I'm being honest. We had played great against Middlesbrough and I started with the same XI because of how well they did.

"We knew what was coming, we knew the pitch wasn't great so we would have to turn it, makes it a bit messy at times.

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Preston North End manager Alex Neil

"If I'm brutally honest, they played the exact way we did except they did it a lot better than us.

"We started poorly although had two or three chances before they scored.

"Jayden Stockley should have scored from a header from a set play, Alan Browne should have made a better contact with a shot and Tom Barkhuizen chops inside and opens the goal up for himself but it was a poor shot.

"After that Luton got a goal which was really straight forward. We passed to them, they found the runner off the back of our centre-back and they scored.

"From that point onwards they were the better side from then until the game finished."

Neil was bitterly disappointed with a lack of fight from his side.

"What people will do is try to look at it and say we didn't do this or didn't do that," said the Scot.

"Against Middlesbrough we competed with them, ran harder than Middlesbrough, we passed the ball better, we were competitive.

"That happened to us today and that has probably never happened in my memory to one of my teams when I've been here in terms of competitveness.

"We have played against good sides who have outplayed us, that can happen if you play really good teams.

"Today Luton did everything better than we did, especially in the second half.

"That is extremely disappointing. We were rubbish.

"You have to give Luton credit because they deserved to win and we have to assess our performance and our lack of competitiveness - I don't think we even competed.

"Balls would drop and Luton picked the second balls up, every time it went forward they kept it alive, their centre-backs dominated everything against us. We didn't move the ball well.

"Football is a straight forward game, this was a straight forward game - two shapes exactly the same, they just did it better than we did."

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