Manager is losing faith in himself, says Preston fan Tim Mercer

Not since the dark days of the humiliating re-election season of 1985-86, when the Deepdale floodlights were declared unsafe and unusable, did this fan ever think we may ever again approach the nadir of 12 home league defeats in a 46-game season.

Sunday, 21st March 2021, 8:00 am
Alex Neil during his post-match interview after the Luton defeat

The prospect of ‘matching’ or even ‘beating’ that unwanted record is now a realistic possibility, with 10 on the chalkboard and four left to play in an empty stadium that includes high-flying visitors Norwich and Brentford.

The best that can be said of this match is that we were a tad unfortunate not to get a point, with a late shot from the by-line going in off a very unfortunate Daniel Iverson who had just made yet another fine save. But the truth is that the Hatters had slightly better chances overall and North End did not carry much of a threat over the 90 minutes.

This was the game to get three points under our belt and ease pressure on an increasingly forlorn-looking Alex Neil. His post-match interview revealed a man losing faith in himself and his players, with him stating he didn’t have ‘a scooby doo’ as to what his best team is at the moment.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

An incident that said it all for me was when I was caught shouting out at the iFollow coverage of Preston’s poor-quality decision-making.

On more than one occasion a succession of players opted to return a punt forward by Luton with hurried head tennis when having time to bring the ball down and make a meaningful pass.

With my frustration boiling over into a ridiculous tirade, I only calmed down as the next camera shot showed a very frustrated Neil chastising his team with a clear mime of bringing the ball down on his chest before making a measured pass. ‘Yes Alex’, I thought, ‘it’s just not good enough!’.

Maintaining our Championship status will now feel like a relief; not something I could have imagined just over one year ago as we went into lockdown in the final play-off spot.

Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.