'It could have been 10' says Preston North End manager Alex Neil after victory over Barnsley

Alex Neil gives the thumbs-up to fans after Preston's 5-1 win over Barnsley at Deepdale
Alex Neil gives the thumbs-up to fans after Preston's 5-1 win over Barnsley at Deepdale

Preston North End manager Alex Neil saluted his side's 5-1 win over Barnsley and admitted 'It could have been 10'.

The Lilywhites romped to victory at Deepdale, four of the goals coming in the second half as they went for the jugular.

Preston celebrate Josh Harrop's goal which completed the scoring against Barnsley

Preston celebrate Josh Harrop's goal which completed the scoring against Barnsley

Daniel Johnson gave them the lead after half an hour, but sloppy play at a corner saw Barnsley equalise in the run-up to half-time.

Tom Barkhuizen restored PNE's lead five minutes into the second half, Johnson made it 3-1 before there was a rare appearance on the scoresheet for Ben Pearson.

Substitute Josh Harrop completed the scoring soon after joining the action from the bench.

Neil said: "If our fans didn't enjoy that today, you would never enjoy a game of football.

"It was excellent to watch, entertaining, we could arguably have scored 10 goals - we missed four sitters in the first half and there was David Nugent's chance in the second half as well.

"Brad Potts tried a flick at the end that had it gone in, would have been goal of the season.

"Although we scored five we could have scored a lot more."

It was a fifth win out of six games at Deepdale in the Championship this season, with 16 points collected from 18 on offer.

For the first time of his tenure, Neil saw North End score five goals in a league game.

Neil said: "To be honest that has been coming, in a lot of the home games we have performed very well.

"We went and watched Barnsley during the week and I have watched them four times this season either on video or live.

"In every game I have seen they have been the better side for the first 30 minutes but I didn't think that was the case today.

"I thought we were the better side from the first minute to the last minute. The only disappointment I have got is that after we scored the first goal we got a little bit sloppy.

"Maybe we took our foot off the gas thinking it was job done and that gave Barnsley a bit of incentive - they got the goal off the set-play.

"After that we had a good chat at half-time and I thought the lads responded in the fashion you hoped they would.

"Their quality and composure was excellent. We didn't try to force things, we kept on playing, kept on probing.

"We knew how to play against them - up , back and through was going to be the key and we did that to a tee.

"All the homework we did on how we were going to win the game and what was required, we couldn't have done it any better."