'I just thought wow!' - Preston North End catch the eye of Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock

Preston North End caught the eye of Neil Warnock when he tuned in to do a spot of scouting ahead of Middlesbrough’s visit to Deepdale tonight.

Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 12:30 pm
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock fist-bumps midfielder Jonny Howson

Warnock pressed the red button for PNE’s 3-2 win at AFC Bournemouth last week and was impressed with what he saw from the Lilywhites.

The veteran Boro manager said: "I watched Bournemouth vs Preston and I’ve never seen a better performance than that. The passing was unbelievable against Bournemouth and I just thought wow!

"I turned it off at 3-0 and they won 3-2. I thought they were as good a side as I’ve seen this season."

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North End are yet to show that away sparkle at Deepdale, Warnock having some sympathy on that score.

He thinks certain clubs, PNE and Boro themselves, suffer from having to play in empty grounds.

"I would say at places like Middlesbrough, Preston, fans make a difference," said Warnock.

"When you go out of the tunnel at Preston it does give them that bit more."

Boro travel down from Teesside having had a mixed bag of results lately.

They are on a lose–win sequence over the last five games, their latest outing seeing them beaten 1-0 at Stoke City on Saturday.

Previous to that they’d beaten Swansea 2-1 with two goals from Duncan Watmore.

North End boss Alex Neil expects Boro to do well under Warnock this season, Warnock having taken over as manager towards the end of last season to help fight off any relegation fears.

Neil said: "We have played Middlesbrough a number of times over the last few years and they have always had a very strong squad.

"There have been a few departures but they have Johnny Howson who I have worked with before, Paddy McNair, Marcus Tavernier, Britt Assombalonga, Ashley Fletcher, the names roll off the tongue.

"They are guys who have competed at the top end of the table. Middlesbrough have invested some money in the squad as well.

"Neil will be the first to say that although he took over a squad which was struggling at the wrong end of the table, he didn't take over a squad of players that weren't capable."

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