Preston North End boss Alex Neil says ‘blame me’ after Millwall defeat

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Preston manager Alex Neil says the substitutions made in the defeat to Millwall were done with the best intentions but accepted they did not have the desired affect.

Neil made a double change at 0-0, with Paul Gallagher and Josh Harrop replacing Alan Browne and Scott Sinclair.

And just before the Lions scored their 78th-minute winner, Sean Maguire was put on in place of David Nugent.

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PNE supporters felt the physical presence of Jayden Stockley might have suited the game but the big striker stayed on the bench.

Preston skipper Tom Clarke played at right-back against Millwall at DeepdalePreston skipper Tom Clarke played at right-back against Millwall at Deepdale
Preston skipper Tom Clarke played at right-back against Millwall at Deepdale | World Copyright © 2020 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0

Neil said: “Many times this season I’ve talked about when it gets to the stage where you have to decide whether to twist or stick, I will always gamble to win a game.

“I did that against Millwall and it didn’t work.

“If people want to criticise me for that, I’m fine with it, I’ve no issues.

“I made a change last week at Stoke, I brought Gally on and he set up the second goal.

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“People were saying that was a stroke of genius but it was more a case of putting him on because he was good at corners.

“Sometimes things go your way, sometimes not.”

Defeat to Millwall ended PNE’s six-game unbeaten run in the league but they stayed in sixth place.

What was frustrating is that other results went their way and a win would have moved them up to third.

Addressing the changes he made during the game, Neil said: “Nuge was against their back three, started to fatigue and couldn’t get out to shut them down.

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“They were starting to force us back and our wide players were having to drop back with their wing-backs.

“If I put Jayden on we would have struggled to get up 
the pitch. We could have turned it to him but if our wide players had gambled it would have left their wing-backs free.

“I put Josh Harrop on to try and drift, give that extra man in the middle, put Gally on to try and put his foot on the ball, which he generally does.

“But we didn’t really pick the ball up, Millwall’s shape got the better of our shape.

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“When they scored I then matched them up and put two up front.”

Neil had made two changes from the side which won at Stoke, Nugent leading the attack in place of Maguire 
and Tom Clarke replacing Darnell Fisher at right-back.

Fisher had nerve pain in his hamstring and a third game in a week made it too much of a risk to play.

Said Neil: “Darnell had a similar problem after the game at Derby in November and missed a few games off the back of it.

“We put Tom in there and I thought he had a solid game, he was good in the air.”