Preston North End boss Alex Neil 'felt bad' having to play Ryan Ledson as a defender in the defeat to Hull City

Preston North End manager Alex Neil admitted it was a tough shift for Ryan Ledson playing out of position in last night's 4-0 defeat at Hull City.

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 28th November 2019, 6:33 am
Preston's Ryan Ledson

A shortage of defenders meant Neil started midfielder Ledson at right-back and then moved him to left-back for the second half of the KCOM Stadium clash.

Ledson had a difficult night before being substituted before the game had reached the hour mark.

Neil said: "I'm not judging Ryan on that performance, I felt bad putting him in that position but I had to do it with somebody.

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Joe Rafferty, Ben Pearson and Paul Gallagher after Preston conceded the fourth goal at Hull

"He went in, did his best, and got caught out of position for the first goal.

"The second one he lost his footing and gave the penalty away. He has not played a lot of games this season.

"Kamil Grosicki was a real threat and he was causing us problems getting in behind, so I changed it at half-time.

"Joe Rafferty is the natural full-back so I flipped him over to the right and then they started attacking down the other side.

Joe Rafferty swapped full-back positions with Ryan Ledson during the defeat at Hull

"I couldn't plug every hole. It was difficult for some of them."

Darnell Fisher and Alan Browne missed the game through injury, with skipper Tom Clarke and Andrew Hughes having been longer-term casualties.

All would have provided options at full-back, Browne having played there a few times this season.

After Ledson went off, Daniel Johnson became the third PNE player of the night to play at left-back.

Ben Davies was also ruled out by an ankle problem, his position in the centre of defence going to Jordan Storey.

That left Paul Huntington as the only other defender in the squad, with him named on the bench.

Neil said: "Out of the other players I had available, I could have played Tom Barkhuizen at right-back.

"The problem I had got there is that I needed Tommy B's pace at the top end of the pitch to stretch it, he is the one who is going to do that the best.

"When you are not a natural full-back and are playing against the quality of their two wingers, it is a real problem."