Preston North End facing meanest defence in Championship at Middlesbrough

Alex Neil knows the size of the task awaiting Preston at Middlesbrough tonight but says there must not be any fear in their approach.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 1:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 2:28 pm

The Teessiders have shipped only 26 goals in their 35 Championship games, Tony Pulis certainly having stamped his mark.

Boro sit fifth and North End will have to play well to bring something back from the Riverside Stadium.

Neil, though, uses last month’s win over Norwich as an example of how PNE can compete with the teams above them.

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Britt Assombalonga has netted 12 goals this season (photo: Getty Images)
Britt Assombalonga has netted 12 goals this season (photo: Getty Images)

Neil said: “You look at Boro and they are well drilled and well organised.

“They are hard to break down and hard to beat.

“Going the other way, they have the quality to damage you and have spent a lot of money putting that squad together.

“We know it will be a really tough match but it was not too long ago that we played Norwich, who are probably the best team in the league, and we managed to win.

“I’ve seen different sides of Middlesbrough, they went toe to toe with Leeds and were a lot more expansive than I had seen them.

“Then against QPR, they scored two goals early on and sunk back in.”

Britt Assombalonga is Boro’s top scorer with 12 goals.

Ex-PNE striker Jordan Hugill, who is on loan from West Ham, has been on the bench for the last four games.