Preston's 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday was fully deserved, says boss Alex Neil

Preston boss Alex Neil reckons a late equaliser for Sheffield Wednesday would have flattered the visitors.
Daniel Johnson scores the first penalty against Sheffield WednesdayDaniel Johnson scores the first penalty against Sheffield Wednesday
Daniel Johnson scores the first penalty against Sheffield Wednesday

North End came under immense pressure in the final few minutes as the Owls threw everything bar the kitchen sink at Deepdale.

The home side had opened up a comfortable and deserved 2-0 advantage courtesy of a penalty in each half by Daniel Johnson.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The PNE midfielder notched his third and fourth goals in a week after Sean Maguire had twice been felled inside the box by the hapless Moses Odubajo.

But Steven Fletcher handed the visitors a lifeline 12 minutes from time when he headed home Adam Reach's left-wing cross.

Roared on by more than 4,000 visiting supporters, Wednesday boss Lee Bullen put on towering striker Atdhe Nuhiu as they went gung-ho.

Despite a nervy final few minutes, the home side held on much to the relief of Neil.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I think the win was merited," Neil said. "First half, we were definitely better. I don't think they had an attempt on goal really.

"We needed the first goal. They were really stubborn and sat behind the ball and had pace on the counter down the flanks.

"They were always putting the ball up to Fletcher but I felt we dealt with that really well.

"Thankfully we got the penalty to break the deadlock.

"We needed the game to become open so we could get in behind them and we did

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We managed to get the second penalty and I thought for 75 minutes of the game, we were really, really comfortable.

"I thought we looked more of a threat. We got in behind them a few times.

"Then they brought the lad Nuhiu on and what really killed us was Patrick Bauer had to go off and he is our most dominant header of the ball.

"They just went basically three up right through the middle and they just basically banged the ball from back to front, hoping to pick any scraps."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Such was Neil's concern that he decided to utilise the extra height of striker Jayden Stockley as a makeshift centre back.

"I was terrified with one bit of play when Jayden got done by one which got slipped down the side," Neil said.

"He tried to turn down the channel - I am still having flashbacks about that one.

"But all in all we needed to change our style and we managed to see the game through."