PNE boss Alex Neil rues red card against Wolves

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Preston North End manager Alex Neil was confident his side could have gone on and beaten Wolves had it not been for John Welsh's red card.

The clash with the Championship leaders at Deepdale finished in a 1-1 draw, with Welsh getting his marching orders soon after Alan Browne had headed North End in front.

John Welsh is sent-off by referee Rob Jones

John Welsh is sent-off by referee Rob Jones

Within two minutes of the midfielder's sending-off for two bookings, the visitors equalised through Helder Costa.

North End were well worthy of their point from a game played in front of Deepdale's highest crowd of the season - 18,570.

Neil said: "I thought we worked hard but that is something we do every game and I fully expect that.

"In the first half our set-up was pretty good, we limited Wolves who are a really good side at this level to not many chances.

PNE boss Alex Neil gives instructions to Darnell Fisher

PNE boss Alex Neil gives instructions to Darnell Fisher

"Our retention of the ball could have been better, I didn't think we moved it as well as we can and the one ingredient missing was a bit of belief to beat them.

"I didn't think we had enough belief, that was something we had spoken about before the game and it was also the basis of my half-time team talk.

"We looked a little bit tentative in terms of moving the ball.

"But we then started the second half exactly as I hoped, we were on the front foot and aggressive, trying to force the issue and win the game.

PNE's Tom Barkhuizen makes a challenge

PNE's Tom Barkhuizen makes a challenge

"Alan Browne hit the post and then he got the goal.

"What would have been really good would have been managing to keep 11 players on the pitch and see what happened from there.

"At that stage I was confident we would go on and win the game."

Welsh got his first booking late in the first half and then saw red for pulling down Ivan Cavaleiro on the half-way line.

Neil said: "The disappointment I have got is that I spoke to John about it at half time about not receiving that next booking.

"I considered putting Josh Harrop on, however we stuck with John to see out the first 10 minutes of the second half.

"Then we go our goal which changes things again because you are going ultra-aggressive after that - John was the perfect one to see out that next 10 minutes before making a substitution.

"However, in that period John got himself got sent-off and I thought the two bookings were soft to be honest.

"The way the Wolves players go down and roll around it looks like they are really hurt, making the referee think it was a really bad tackle when in actual fact it was an honest attempt to get the ball.

"I thought John had a good game up to that point."