Preston North End boss Alex Neil far from disheartened at defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup

Preston manager Alex Neil
Preston manager Alex Neil

Preston North End manager Alex Neil didn't think his players had disappointed in any way in the defeat to Manchester City at Deepdale.

The Lilywhites lost 3-0 to City in the third round of the Carabao Cup, all the goals scored in the first half.

Preston right-back Darnell Fisher battles with Raheem Sterling

Preston right-back Darnell Fisher battles with Raheem Sterling

They faced a very strong City front line of Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus.

Sterling opened the scoring, Jesus got the second, while a David Silva cross was deflected into his own net by Ryan Ledson.

Neil said: "I thought our lads did well, I don't think we disappointed.

"For the first 20 minutes we started brightly, started on the front foot but for the first goal we got a little bit hungry.

Darnell Fisher and Daniel Johnson at the final whistle

Darnell Fisher and Daniel Johnson at the final whistle

"We went chasing the ball at the top end, they put the ball into Sterling's feet, he rolled away from us and once you leave grass in behind it is a problem.

"The frustrating thing is the goals they scored were the type we had spoken about and talked about stopping

"But the problem you have got is that when you are playing against that quality of player with the speed they move the ball at, there is one thing talking about stopping it and another thing doing it in live play.

"I don't think we can get too down on ourselves about the match.

"In the second half it might have been quite easy at 3-0 to give up but we didn't do that.

"We had five guys who regularly start for us not playing tonight, we also took three off the pitch as well.

"Overall I was happy with the performance albeit a little bit disappointed with the goals.

"We are not going to get judged against Manchester City's quality every week."

Neil wasn't taken by surprise by the strength of the City side.

And he admitted their attack would be a 'scary one' in the Premier League, not just for his side to face.

Said Neil: "Man City were the better team but our lads didn't let us down, they gave everything they had.

"You look at that front line and it a scary one for any Premier League team playing against them, never mind a Championship team.

"We need to take the positives from what we did well and take that into Saturday.

"I thought if they were going to play younger lads at the back they would complement that with senior lads at the front which they did.

"Had they played senior lads at the back, they might have played younger lads going forward.

"They posed us different dilemmas. If you stop one thing they will open another to hurt you.

"The goals were disappointing because they all came from inside us, in the second half they were outside us and that allowed us to defend our box well."