Preston North End boss Alex Neil won’t throw in the towel over play-offs yet

Alex Neil is refusing to give up on Preston’s hopes of reaching the play-offs despite defeat at Brentford yesterday.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 8:00 am

With two games to play, the Lilywhites remain five points behind Cardiff City who sit in sixth place.

With Millwall and Swansea ahead of them too, it will take a big swing of results for Neil’s men to extend the season.

PNE host Birmingham at Deepdale on Saturday and then go to Bristol City next Wednesday.

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Ryan Ledson in action at Griffin Park last night

Neil said: “What we have to do is quite straightforward, we try and win the next game and see what the other results are after that game.

“If it means it goes to the last game, then brilliant. That is what we hope will happen.

“We have to win the next game and hope results go in our favour to take it into the final game. It’s not over. The simple fact is that any team in this division can win two games and lose two games.

“Would I say it is unlikely it will happen? Yes, I probably would.

“But stranger things have happened and we have to keep going fore these final two games.”

The only goal of the game at Griffin Park came in just 
the fourth minute, Ollie Watkins latching on to a pass into the box to fire over Declan Rudd.

Clear-cut chances at either end were few and far between, with North End sticking to a game plan.

Neil went with a 3-5-2, before reverting to 4-3-3 later in the game.

“I wasn’t thinking that was a good shape after three minutes or so when they scored,” said Neil.

“Otherwise I thought it worked well. It was a specific game plan for this one.

“That little blip of not dealing with one scenario early on was our downfall. Did Brentford go on to have better opportunities than we did? I would say not.

“It was a match where both team contested it well.

“We played in a different manner than we normally do and for parts it worked well.”