Alex Neil’s satisfied – but no more than that – with Preston North End’s season

Callum Robinson is Preston's top scorer with 13 goalsCallum Robinson is Preston's top scorer with 13 goals
Callum Robinson is Preston's top scorer with 13 goals
Preston finish off the season at Brentford tomorrow with Alex Neil having mixed feelings about the mid-table slot they currently occupy.

The Lilywhites head to Griffin Park (12.30pm) in 13th place, with ninth the highest slot they can reach.

Victory over Brentford would see them end on 64 points, compared to the 73 they secured a year ago.

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PNE boss Neil said: “If I had been sitting here at the start of the season, taking everything out of the equation and not knowing the obstacles which would be in the way, I would be disappointed not to have got as many points as last year.

“I would be lying if I had said anything else because you want to try and improve year on year.

“But with the obstacles put in our way this season, some of them self-inflicted and some out of our control, it has made it doubly difficult to reach those heights.

“I would say with the things put in our way and the fact the team had chopped and changed because of injury, I would say I’m satisfied.

“That is the best I could say, no more.

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“We have done all right, next year is an important one for everyone here and we want to kick on.”

Neil would like to end on a high note in West London, with yet another sizeable away following backing them.

A ninth away victory would round things off nicely, six of the eight already in the bag achieved in a row between January and March.

Reflecting on the season, Neil said: “It has been mixed if I’m being honest.

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“We have played some good stuff at times, a lot of lads have come in for their debuts at this level, a lot of the younger boys who wouldn’t normally have played as many minutes this season have played a lot. We’ve had some good trips on the road and had two really good runs across the season.

“I don’t think it has been too negative, we started quite poorly and the injuries have played their part.

“Having said that, we still did flirt with the play-offs in the last eight weeks or so of the season.”

It will largely be the same squad which was on duty for the 3-3 draw against Sheffield Wednesday last week, which travels to London.

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Ben Pearson is unlikely to feature to avoid getting a 15th yellow card, which would mean a three-game ban.

As for the race to be PNE’s top scorer, Callum Robinson is one ahead of Alan Browne.

Robinson has netted 13 goals in a campaign which was interrupted by injury, with Browne’s goal last week taking him on to 12.

With Robinson entering the last year of his contract, there is likely to be plenty of speculation doing the rounds this summer.