Preston boss Alex Neil: We have to take Southampton defeat on the chin

Preston North End manager Alex Neil admitted that Southampton had been 'better in every department' against his side as the Premier League outfit won at Deepdale.

Saturday, 20th July 2019, 9:11 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th July 2019, 10:11 pm
Preston's Ben Pearson and Alan Browne compete for the same ball against Southampton at Deepdale

The pre-season friendly was won 3-1 by the Saints and the margin of victory could have been greater.

Danny Ings scored twice for the visitors either side of a superb equaliser from Billy Bodin.

Jake Voskins rounded-off Southampton's win with a third goal late in the day.

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Preston manager Alex Neil

Neil said: "The level of opposition we have played so far, we have been comfortable against and cruised parts of the games.

"Today there was no cruising going on, Southampton were better in every department really.

"I didn't think we moved the ball well enough, I didn't think we started at a high enough tempo, I think the biggest positive we could take from it was Billy's goal - it was a good bit of individual quality.

"For us, sometimes getting that reality check is not a bad thing.

"Until this point we have come through all the games relatively unscathed and had nothing but good things to say to one another.

"Coming out and playing against a far higher level of opposition shows us that we have a lot of work to do."

Neil said it would be a case of taking defeat - the first of pre-season - on the chin and looking to improve in the remaining three friendlies against Accrington, Fleetwood and Newcastle United in the week ahead.

"Good teams do two things and we have done to it to the lesser teams we have played - they hunt the ball really well and when they have got it they keep it very well," said Neil.

"In both aspects we didn't do it well enough, we didn't retain the ball, when it went forward it didn't stick.

"When we tried to play it out from the back we looked rushed, we looked panicked and our touch wasn't good at times.

"Also, when we went to hunt the ball Southampton found a solution in terms of finding a spare player which we didn't.

"In the first half we tried to play against them, they had a few opportunities and we had a couple as well.

"During the second half when we began to get penetrated we became a bit scared, the lads began to sink in and didn't get the ball back.

"We have to take it on the chin and come back better for it."