Alex Neil wants Preston North End to adopt ‘business as usual’ approach to Luton away day

Preston North End will tackle Luton Town tomorrow with their ‘business as usual’ head on and attempting to stabilise their place in the top six.

Friday, 13th March 2020, 5:00 am

Speculation was rife that sporting events could be forced to move behind closed doors or even put on hold because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

For the time being, there is no such ban on large events and PNE will be backed by more 1,000 of their supporters in a sold-out away section at Kenilworth Road – their first visit to the Hatters’ ground for more than 13 years.

The position could change going forward but for now the Lilywhites will focus on finding their form again after one win in the last five games and three defeats on the spin.

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Preston North End manager Alex Neil

Despite the form dip, PNE head to Bedfordshire in sixth place and with their play-off destiny still in their own hands.

Alex Neil concedes his side ‘have got away with it’ in terms of being in the position they are and no team able to take advantage of the recent results.

Neil said: “In January we went to Blackburn after a difficult period, got a stuffy draw and played ‘okay’.

“Then we won four of the next five games, so it shows momentum can build up really quickly.

“We need a shift like that in our favour again. I would say that we feel as if we have got away with one in terms of the fact we have lost four out of the last five.

“That is the mindset at the moment, we haven’t been in good form and are still in the position we are in.

“For me it is a case that we need to pull our finger out because we won’t get away with it anymore.

“We’ve had our free pass and we need to crank it up.

“What’s disappointing is had we gone on a decent run we could have put a gap between ourselves and the others up there. We’ve failed to do that.”

On the fitness front, Neil hopes to have Paul Gallagher and Brad Potts fit.

Gallagher felt his calf in last week’s defeat to QPR, a game Potts missed with a slight hamstring strain.

At yesterday’s pre-match press conference, Neil was strong in his opinion on how football should deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

His view is that a halting of the season for a few weeks, in line with other countries, would be better than playing in empty stadiums.

Neil said: “Football is all about the fans, that is what we do it for – we do it for the fans.

“Everything is set up for fans to come, have their day, watch their team, cheer them on, so I’m not a big advocate at all of behind closed door games. I would rather it be suspended and start again at a later date.”