Alex Neil reveals how he will reduce Preston North End casualty list

Sean Maguire ' pictured at Brentford on Sunday ' has had hamstring problems this season
Sean Maguire ' pictured at Brentford on Sunday ' has had hamstring problems this season

Preston manager Alex Neil will tweak some aspects of his squad’s training and build-up to games in 2019/20 to try and avoid a repeat of the pile-up of injuries which were a feature of this season.

Neil has had the findings of an outside audit he asked for, looking at the full range of the work which North End do during an average week.

The audit did not pinpoint a specific issue, but Neil says there will be a ‘tweak’ to some of the things they do.

Of particular concern was the number of soft tissue and muscle injuries.

Half-a-dozen players have had hamstring problems.

Callum Robinson needed surgery to repair a rupture to a hamstring tendon, which ruled him out for more than three months.

Andrew Hughes pulled up with a hamstring tear in the game against Birmingham in March and has not played since.

Sean Maguire, Brandon Barker, Louis Moult and Ben Davies are among the others to have hamstring issues at some point or other.

Thigh strains have also been a problem, Josh Earl and Daniel Johnson two of the players to have suffered. Neil said: “We will certainly be tweaking things for next season across the board in terms of what we do, how we do it, how long we will do it for and the day we do it.

“It is a complicated process, not just as simple as changing one thing.

“I wouldn’t say we have found a particular thing but there are things we can alter to have a beneficial effect.”

Preston brought in fitness expert Dave Carolan to assess how things were being done.

Neil accepts that no team can steer clear of injuries over the course of a season.

However, it is the muscle injuries which he thinks can be reduced.

Contact injuries are part and parcel of the game, those being down to bad luck more than anything.

Josh Harrop’s ruptured cruciate ligament came when he twisted and was tackled at the same time.

Tom Clarke’s absence for the last two-and-a-half months was due to a knock on the knee he got at Millwall in February – that caused some damage to fibres on a ligament in his knee.

Tom Barkhuizen and Brad Potts have both been out with cartilage problems in their knees.

The Lilywhites squad are back for pre-season training at the end of June.