Alex Neil wants Preston North End to learn their lessons for the trip to Middlesbrough

Preston striker David Nugent will be in the squad to face Middlesbrough who are one of his former clubs
Preston striker David Nugent will be in the squad to face Middlesbrough who are one of his former clubs

Preston North End venture to Middlesbrough tonight with Alex Neil looking for his side to take on board the lessons learned from their 3-3 draw with Bristol City.

Lilywhites boss Neil took both positives and negatives from Saturday’s clash which ended their 100% record at Deepdale.

Importantly for Neil, it was another point on the board in what has been a strong start to the season.

He applauded the North End players’ resilience in coming back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to get a draw.

On the flip side of the coin, there were reminders issued about defending set-pieces which was PNE’s weak spot at the weekend.

Neil said: “Saturday’s draw hasn’t knocked us – 100% we can take momentum from it.

“At times football can be all about perception, how you look at things.

“If we had gone 3-0 up on Saturday and drawn three each, everyone would have been cursing us and saying it was rubbish.

“We ended up getting the same scoreline, just did it in a different manner.

“Afterwards we got praise for our excellent fightback, it was a rallying feeling rather than a deflating one.

“As a manager I have to be subjective, remove all of the emotion.

“So for me it was great that we rallied but we shouldn’t have found ourselves in that position in the first place.

“For the lads, it will have given them huge confidence in terms of resilience and the ability to dig a result out.

“The Bristol City game was a good performance except the defending at set-plays.

“In the 90 minutes we passed and probed and didn’t lose control of the game at any point.

“We had more than 60% of the possession but didn’t do as much with it as I would have liked us to. Saying that, we still scored three goals.”

Neil was hoping to have a relatively full squad on board the team bus when it set off for Teesside this morning.

Andrew Hughes missed both the Manchester City and Bristol City games with a hip flexor injury, that following on from a spell out because of hamstring trouble.

A calf injury has sidelined Billy Bodin for the last three games and it remains to be seen whether the duo will make the trip.

There was a clean bill of health from Saturday but Neil could tweak the side to take the quick turnaround into consideration.

For David Nugent the clash with Boro sees him up against one of his former clubs.

He spent 18 months at the Riverside and helped them get promotion to the Premier League in 2016. Nugent has had a half-hour run as a sub in the last two games.