Preston North End boss Alex Neil pleased with his side's win in opening game of the season

Alex Neil was pleased with how his side opened their season against Mansfield Town, seeing themselves through to the next round of the Carabao Cup.

By Tom Sandells
Saturday, 29th August 2020, 6:37 pm
Updated Saturday, 29th August 2020, 6:40 pm

Goals from Tom Barkhuizen, Sean Maguire, Patrick Bauer and Josh Harrop saw PNE comfortably home 4-0 in the clash at Deepdale.

Neil was happy to see his selection choices pay off as he picked a side equipped to take on the three man backline of the Stags.

He said: "I'm really pleased. We're only two weeks in, we picked a team that we thought would be really well suited to the way that Mansfield play.

Alex Neil at Deepdale as Preston North End beat Mansfield Town 4-0.

"They're really aggressive in their style in terms of getting on top of you, we knew there was going to be space in behind.

"We were really quite dynamic at the top end of the pitch and to win any game with four goals is obviously really pleasing."

Although the Lilywhites were largely in control throughout the 90 minutes, there is still room for improvement for Neil.

Mansfield had the first real chance in the game, Andy Cook's shot hitting the inside of the post before bouncing clear in the end, and the North End manager felt there were other dips in performance.

"I thought we started the game sloppy, we gave the ball away on the left side a couple of times," he said.

"Their chance came from us pressing the ball, they turned it and we should have intercepted but it comes off one of our feet and goes behind us.

"We don't defend that side of the goal well enough and they hit the post.

"I did think it was a bit of a catalyst where we needed to kick ourselves into gear and then we did so afterwards.

"It was a bit frustrating in terms of the start to the game and again at the start of the second half, to be honest.

"I thought we got a bit sloppy but then picked up the pace again and put the game to bed with the fourth goal."