PNE's clash with Bristol City very important but not defining says Alex Neil

PNE boss Alex Neil
PNE boss Alex Neil

Preston North End boss Alex Neil says Tuesday night's clash with Bristol City is important in the play-off race but not the 'be all and end all'.

The Lilywhites are three points behind the visitors going into the Deepdale clash, Lee Johnson's men currently occupying sixth place.

PNE celebrate their third goal at Bolton

PNE celebrate their third goal at Bolton

Neil said: "There are still 33 points to play for.

"This game is not the be all and end all but it is an important game for both teams.

"There are a lot of games between now and the end of the season when we are playing opposition directly around us in the league, there are a lot of six-pointers.

"While this is not the be all and end all, we will be stressing to the players that we need the three points."

Sean Maguire is congratulated by Ben Davies after scoring at Bolton

Sean Maguire is congratulated by Ben Davies after scoring at Bolton

Although closing the gap on the top-six would be most welcome at this stage, the only league position which concerns Neil is the one occupied on May 6 after the last game of the season.

Neil said: There is no point being in the top six at the moment if when the dust settles at the end of the season, you are not there.

"We want to be in there when everything is finished."

North End go into the Robins' visit on the back of the 3-1 win over Bolton last Saturday.

Tom Barkhuizen pulled PNE level at the Macron Stadium, with substitute Sean Maguire then scoring twice.

Neil said: "Saturday was a big shot in the arm for us which we all needed.

"It was not just winning the game but the manner in which we won it against a team which has proven difficult to beat.

"The game was a local derby, it was Gentry Day, everything surrounding it was perfect for us.

"Now we have to take that momentum into the next game."