Preston North End boss Alex Neil aims to put away record straight at Bristol City

Preston boss Alex Neil with Josh Earl and Ben Pearson at Ipswich last Saturday
Preston boss Alex Neil with Josh Earl and Ben Pearson at Ipswich last Saturday

Preston will look to give their away form a kick-start when they make the trip to Bristol City on Saturday.

The Lilywhites are yet to win a Championship game on their travels this season.

That is in contrast to last term when they recorded 10 league victories on the road, one more than they managed at Deepdale.

It took them until the start of last month to pick up their first away point, which came in the 3-3 draw with Aston Villa.

North End have since had 1-1 away draws with Hull City and Ipswich.

But they still await their first league win on the road since April’s 1-0 success over Sheffield United.

Alex Neil sees the recent away draws as being a small step in the right direction.

However, some stronger form will be needed to help PNE climb the table.

“If you don’t get beat away and win your home games, that is something to start with,” said Preston boss Neil.

“But we don’t go away with the aim just not to get beaten, we go away to try and win the game.

“It hasn’t happened for us yet and we are trying to put that right.”

Neil’s men did manage to win away in the League Cup, beating Leeds 2-0 at Elland Road in August.

They head to Ashton Gate this weekend unbeaten in six Championship games but still only above the bottom three on goal difference.

While pleased to have got out of the losing habit, Neil sees the draws with Ipswich, Hull and Rotherham as being missed opportunities.

With those three sides in and around North End in the lower reaches of the table, a better return might have been expected.

Said Neil: “At Hull we didn’t deserve anything more than we got.

“At Ipswich I wouldn’t say we walked away particularly disappointed we didn’t win.

“But I thought we had the opportunities to win it.

“Against Rotherham we should have won, no question about that.

“We had more chances, more everything than they had in the game.”

On the selection front, Neil will have to change his keeper at Ashton Gate.

Chris Maxwell serves a one-match ban for his red card at Ipswich, handing an opportunity to Declan Rudd.

Andrew Hughes’ fitness will be assessed, the left-back having missed last week’s game with an injury.

Hughes’ place went to Josh Earl who came in for his first game since mid-September.

PNE fans making the trip on Saturday are reminded that there will be no ticket sales on the day.

Tickets are available from Deepdale until Friday at 5pm.