PNE boss can’t hide joy at away victory

Paul Huntington celebrates PNE's winner against Hull
Paul Huntington celebrates PNE's winner against Hull

Alex Neil felt it was ‘crucial’ that Preston North End put a second away victory on the board in beating Hull City.

Tuesday night’s 2-1 success at the KCOM Stadium came on the back of the 3-1 win against Birmingham 12 days ago.

It was the first time PNE have won consecutive away games since beating Bristol City and Burton Albion either side of Christmas.

Neil told the Post: “It was crucial we won again.

“Winning once away from home is good but not great is it? You want to continue that and want to make sure you are a force to be reckoned with on the road and at home.”

Neil was again quick to credit his side’s work-rate in the win over Hull, Callum Robinson heading the winner in the 88th minute.

Even after the late goal they had something left in the tank, with Josh Harrop seeing a shot pushed on to the post by Hull keeper Allan McGregor.

“I don’t know what the stats suggest but I know what my players put into each and every game,” said Neil.

“After games they are literally out on their feet.

“They take great pride in that and I’m real thankful to be working with this side.”

What was key to the win at Hull was the substitutions made by Neil in the second half.

Match-winner Robinson had come off the bench, so too Daryl Horgan who provided the cross for Robinson to head home from close range.

Said Neil: “If you haven’t got the faith in your players, you would go conservative rather than aggressive with the changes you make.

“Michael Dawson had been dealing well with the threat of Jordan – he is well versed at dealing with big strikers.

“I felt sharp movement down the side might cause a different threat to him.

“The sharp feet of Daryl and Josh was different.

“The question was would we keep the ball at that end of the pitch to cause problems and thankfully for us the new front four did that.”