Preston North End's defeat at Wigan Athletic leaves Alex Neil frustrated

Preston boss Alex Neil gives instructions to Lukas Nmecha during the defeat at Wigan
Preston boss Alex Neil gives instructions to Lukas Nmecha during the defeat at Wigan

Alex Neil was frustrated with his Preston North End side in the defeat to Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

The Lilywhites were beaten 2-0, goals from Leon Clarke and Lee Evans doing the damage.

Callum Robinson takes on Reece James and Danny Fox

Callum Robinson takes on Reece James and Danny Fox

However, some of the damage was self-inflicted with Ryan Ledson getting sent-off in the 38th minute for a chest-high challenge on Kal Naismith.

Reflecting on the contest, Neil said: "The performance was a mixed bag really.

"I thought in the first 10 minutes we looked quite threatening but Wigan got the goal which was a mistake from us.

"It was the first cross they put into the box, we didn't clear it properly and it lands at the lad's feet - he put it across the box and they score.

Preston striker Sean Maguire chases Wigan's Reece James

Preston striker Sean Maguire chases Wigan's Reece James

"From that point, they allowed us to shuffle the ball to the right hand side and try and build from there.

"But we didn't move the ball well enough, Jordan Storey was labouring, just turning the ball and giving it away.

"There were a few under par in the first half, we didn't have the assertiveness we needed to have and I made my feelings known at half-time.

"Look at how many times we gave the ball away, how many loose touches there were.

"We didn't play with a purpose which was disappointing."

Sympathy for Ledson was in short supply from his manager, Neil questioning why the midfielder had seen the need to go for a bouncing ball with his foot in the first place.

Neil said: "Ryan makes a rash decision by flinging his boot in the air and got sent-off. From that point, it became difficult for us.

"We've had too many sendings-off, too many occasions where I've had to work with 10 men.

"To be honest, we are the makers of our own downfall at times.

"In the second half the lads gave it everything they have got, we pinned them in for long spells."

North End were 1-0 down when Ledson saw red, Clarke having scored from close range after Wigan took advantage of a Ben Davies mistake.

It was a lead they doubled in the second half after PNE had been on top and had chances to equalise.

Neil said: "For the first goal we had to deal with it better, it was a bread and butter clearance.

"Ben just flings his left foot at it and it hit his heel.

"The ball was put across goal and Clarke scored.

"To be fair, Clarke caused us problems all day, it was a big learning curve for Jordan Storey."