We should have had the game won in the first half: Preston North End boss Alex Neil reacts to defeat at Swansea

Preston North End manager Alex Neil thought his side should have been out of sight by half-time as they went down to a 3-2 defeat to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

Saturday, 17th August 2019, 6:08 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th August 2019, 7:08 pm
Preston winger Billy Bodin on the attack against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium

The Lilywhites took the lead in the 11th minute through Joe Rafferty and held that advantage until the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time when Borja Baston equalised.

George Byers gave Swansea the lead in the 63rd minute, Daniel Johnson quickly levelling from the penalty spot.

But the home side sored their winner moments after Johnson's penalty through Baston's header.

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Neil said: "That was one of those games where you leave thinking we should have won the game, we didn't.

"The first half was probably the best we have played away from home and controlled the game against a good footballing team.

"We had numerous chances and didn't take them, then the classic suck-punch came right before half-time.

"What that naturally did was take us into half-time on a bit of a downer, Swansea are obviously delighted by the fact they had not been in the game and it was 1-1.

"Swansea started the second half a bit brighter, they played on top of us a bit more and we didn't move the ball as quickly and didn't retain the ball as well as we could.

"We got done in behind by Celina for their second goal which we shouldn't have done, then we got the equaliser.

"At that point I was thinking 'Good, 2-2, let's get back in the game' but 30 seconds later they score.

"That was a real, real blow. We missed the ball in the middle of the pitch, they break down the side of the pitch and scored.

"The second and third goals were carbon copies of each other."