Preston North End manager Alex Neil: Let's stick together and get the job done

Preston North End manager Alex Neil has asked for unity between supporters and players following the Deepdale victory over Hull City.

Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 6:39 pm
Updated Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 6:41 pm
Alan Browne heads Preston North End's winner against Hull City at Deepdale

When the Lilywhites were trailing 1-0 at half-time to the Tigers, a fan in the Alan Kelly Town End appeared to criticise PNE goalkeeper Declan Rudd. as he headed for the tunnel.

Rudd stopped to question what had been said to him before continuing to the dressing room.

North End mounted a second-half comeback, Paul Gallagher (penalty) and Alan Browne finding the net for a 2-1 win.

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Preston North End manager Alex Neil

Neil said: "I don't know what happened but apparently a fan and Declan were having a wee bit at each other.

"We are trying to win the game, we are trying to play well - we are not going out there and not trying.

"The one thing I will say to the Preston fans, these boys run through bricks walls for this club

"When it is not going well and not going right for us, we don't want to start finger-pointing.

PNE boss Alex Neil with midfielder Ben Pearson

"What we need to do is rally, get together and lift each other to spur each other on to win.

"When we got the first goal I thought the fans were brilliant after that.

"In the first half when we were a bit frustrated, just stick with us, give us a chance to make it right.

"We have done it so often, we don't let them down, everything they have got is out there on the pitch all the time."

Neil was puzzled as to why Rudd was singled out in this particular incident and urged for everyone to stick together - something which was evident in the second half as the crowd got right behind North End's comeback.

"When you are the manager of a club, everyone is dying to tell you everything, especially when it is negative," said Neil.

"It was disappointing because Declan to be fair has been very good for us, so I don't even know why they would shout at Declan.

"All of a sudden Declan reacts and it becomes a flash point which it didn't need to be.

"We want to stay together, this club is not about finger-pointing and saying 'he should do better or he should be better'.

"We all make mistakes, I make mistakes, the players make mistakes and I'm pretty sure the fans have made mistakes at some point in their lives.

"Let's focus on what we need to do, try and get over the line, get it done."

Neil felt North End being a goal down naturally led to a bit of tension in the crowd, with the prize they are chasing such a big one.

Victory kept them in sixth place, pulling level on points with Brentford and Nottingham Forest.

Said Neil: "I think we have done remarkably well, the players have done so far to get us to where we are.

"These players aren't used to being in this position, this is a new type of pressure for them.

"Not only that, the fans aren't used to it either so it is new to them.

"They are thinking we are so close, we are desperate not to give it away. So the anxiety and the tension comes in.

"Let's relax, we are where we are because we know what we are doing, let's crack on.

"We are not going to get it right all the time, we are not going to play great all the time but we have got this point.

"Stick with us, support us, give us everything we can and we will give the same back."