Preston North End boss Alex Neil rues more defensive mistakes in Deepdale defeat against Reading

Preston North End boss Alex Neil felt his side were the authors of their own downfall in the Deepdale defeat to Reading.

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Callum Robinson at the final whistle

Callum Robinson at the final whistle

The Royals ran out 3-2 winners having arrived in Lancashire at the foot of the Championship table.

Twice North End pegged them back with equalisers, but just six minutes after making it 2-2 they left the door open for the visitors to score the decisive third goal.

Neil said: "Naturally I'm disappointed we didn't get anything from the game, I think we had more than enough opportunities.

"However if you need to score four goals to get a win, then that is not a good situation to be in.

PNE boss Alex Neil on the touchline during the Deepdale defeat to Reading

PNE boss Alex Neil on the touchline during the Deepdale defeat to Reading

"It has been quite a common theme for us that we have started well and fallen behind.

"At Derby we were the probably the better team, at Norwich we were on top when they scored.

"So I'm frustrated as much as anything else.

"I've been involved in games when we have played poorly and not deserved anything, but I didn't think this was the case today.

"If you look at the clear-cut chances we did have, we should have been 2-0 up before we score - one came off the inside of the post and Paul Gallagher had a chance when it gets cut back to him and he puts it over the bar.

"We created enough opportunities but our defending wasn't good.

"The second goal in particular was a bugbear of mine, the one from the corner - we had spoken about it before the game.

"Two of our lads went the same way, the back heel into space and then we don't cover the front area when the ball comes across.

"It was a really poor goal to lose.

"With the third goal, we were trying to win the game with the more aggressive changes.

"We take a really slack and loose touch in the middle of the pitch and they countered off the back of us.

"We need to learn from it.

"I could hear a few moans and groans about wanting to get the ball forward but the simple fact is we haven't got a big target to hit the ball up to.

"We need to play and our play in the main was relatively good, we need to move it a bit quicker, but it needs to be done in a structured way.

"Banging the ball up and running after bits doesn't suit the players we have got."