Preston North End hoping for some Deepdale joy against Bristol City tonight

Preston North End will look for Deepdale to provide some home comforts tonight after a difficult few days on the road.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 18th December 2020, 8:00 am

For the most part this season, PNE’s away form has been their strength.

Back-to-back defeats at Luton and Barnsley have flipped that perception and the Lilywhites will look for a pre-Christmas booster when they host Bristol City in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

If they could get three points from the 8pm kick-off, it would allow them to enjoy a rare clear midweek which the fixture schedule has provided.

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Midfielder Ryan Ledson

After tonight, they do not play again until Boxing Day when they head to Derby.

North End boss Alex Neil said: “We have lost our last two games and lost them in a different manner.

“The Luton defeat was really disappointing, really unlike us and we haven’t performed as badly as that from what I remember.

“The Barnsley game we had an opportunity to win, we took the lead.

“To be fair to them, their first goal was a very good goal but for the second we switched off.

“The best chance of the game fell to us at 1-0, then we had another good chance at 1-1 to regain the lead.

“So now we have to get ourselves ready to face Bristol City and put in a strong performance.”

Neil will assess the fitness of Ryan Ledson and Brad Potts, the midfield pair having missed the Barnsley game.

Both came off at Luton, Ledson at half-time and Potts on the hour mark.

Ledson had featured in every Championship game this season until Tuesday.

Said Neil: “We’ve relied a lot on Ryan, especially with Ben Pearson being out.

“Ryan and Pottsy have both been carrying knocks, and sometimes they get to the point where it catches up with them.”

Playing tonight means a quicker turnaround from the Barnsley game, something Neil has to take into account on the training pitch.

Said Neil: “The day before a game we’ll get them out on the grass for just over an hour.

“We do shape work, tactical work, look at ways in which we can hurt the opposition.

“In there will be some set-play work and at the end I put on a finishing drill.

“If there are guys who haven’t been playing who need a top-up, we’ll sort out some short-sided stuff for them.

“The last few weeks have been busy with playing every midweek.

“It’s the same for every team in the division and I think that is why you are seeing a lot of inconsistency.

“You’ll see a team get a win somewhere which you didn’t expect but in the next game they won’t back it up and gain any momentum.”

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