Preston North End manager Alex Neil thinks the draw at Middlesbrough was a fair result but the quick equaliser frustrated him

Preston midfield pair Ben Pearson and Alan Browne track Middlesbrough's Jonny Howson
Preston midfield pair Ben Pearson and Alan Browne track Middlesbrough's Jonny Howson

Preston North End boss Alex Neil thought his side's 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough was a fair reflection of the game but was disappointed to have surrendered the lead so quickly.

Josh Harrop gave North End a 40th minute lead but an Darnell Fisher own goal - one which Britt Assombalonga is trying to claim the last touch to - saw Boro level within two minutes.

Josh Harrop gives Preston the lead against Middlesbrough

Josh Harrop gives Preston the lead against Middlesbrough

Neil said: "I thought it was probably a fair result over the piece.

"In the first half we controlled the ball better without really looking threatening, Middlesbrough looked a bit more threatening.

"They retained the ball better at the top end of the pitch which allowed their midfield to play on top of us and create a few more chances.

"In the second half when David Nugent came on he gave us more of an outlet and we held on to it better, that helped us work up the pitch.

"We created the best chance of the second half with the one which was cut back to Daniel Johnson and he didn't make a clean contact.

"There wasn't a lot in the game and I didn't think either team really did enough to win if I'm being honest."

Boro had been beaten 4-1 at the Riverside by Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday and Neil didn't see this as a missed opportunity on the back of that result.

In fact he thought Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate got a good reaction from his team.

Neil said: "Middlesbrough have some good players, they have been a team challenging to get out of this league for the last couple of seasons.

"It was a really hard fought game, we can play better than we did because I didn't think our cutting edge was really there at the top end of the pitch.

"Our biggest disappointment was not holding on to the lead until half-time.

"When you take the lead with five minutes to half-time, we needed to be better than that.

"We knew it would be a tight game so we needed to see that phase of the game out.

"For their equaliser it was a hopeful ball into the channel, we lost our runner and we should have got a block on it, I think the cross ran past two players.

"That's the bit that cost us a win."