Missed chances frustrate Preston North End boss Alex Neil in goalless draw with Cardiff City

Preston skipper Tom Clarke applauds the fans at the final whistle
Preston skipper Tom Clarke applauds the fans at the final whistle

Preston North End manager Alex Neil was left to rue missed chances as his side had to settle for a goalless draw with Cardiff City.

PNE created a host of chances and openings over the 90 minutes at the Cardiff City Stadium but couldn't make them count.

Tom Barkhuizen is stopped by a challenge in Preston's goalless draw with Cardiff

Tom Barkhuizen is stopped by a challenge in Preston's goalless draw with Cardiff

Neil said: "Everybody who watched the game will have recognised we were by far and away the better side.

"I don't think Cardiff had a shot on target, they had one which Declan Rudd tipped over at the end which may have been going over anyway.

"We had some great opportunities. Between both boxes I thought we did very well, dominated the game, had more of the ball and had better chances.

"It was just that final little bit.

"The thing is, against Cardiff - as it was against Millwall when Neil Harris was there - if you don't get that first goal it is very difficult to break them down.

"That first goal makes them come out and chase the game, they then leaves spaces and you can create off the back of that.

"I'm pleased with how we played, disappointed we didn't win because we had played a lot worse than that this year and won."

Sean Maguire twice found the side-netting in the first half, with Billy Bodin, Alan Browne and Ben Pearson having chances in the televised lunchtime clash.

Neil said: "We will score harder chances than we had today.

"Unfortunately that little bit of quality wasn't quite there, whether it be the final pass or shot.

"I thought that while we had good chances, we had some unbelievable opportunities in terms of three v twos or four v threes on breakaways and transitions.

"Our final ball and final run just wasn't quite good enough.

"We played well today but just couldn't find that solution at the top end."