Preston North End manager Alex Neil: 'We deserved our victory over Bristol City'

Alex Neil felt Preston North End's victory over Bristol City at Deepdale was a deserved one.

By Dave Seddon
Saturday, 19th December 2020, 12:09 am
Updated Saturday, 19th December 2020, 12:14 am

Daniel Johnson's 21st minute penalty settled the contest in the Lilywhites' favour and they certainly had the better of the first half.

They had plenty of defending to do in the second half though, that said North End went close a couple of times towards the end on the counter attack.

North End manager Neil said: "I thought we deserved it, in the first half we played some really good stuff - we were better than them, a lot better.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Preston North End manager Alex Neil during the 1-0 win over Bristol City at Deepdale

"We had some good chances.

"In the second half we knew they would change it with the subs they made and we catered for that.

"Sometimes that little settling in period, the 10 minutes after half-time can be challenging.

"Having said that, the two best chances in the second half fell to us.

Daniel Johnson celebrates scoring PNE's penalty

"Yes, Declan Rudd made a couple of good saves but they weren't one-on-one scenarios like Emil Riis' chance which was the best chance of the second half.

"We did everything required to win a game at this level which was play well when we had the ball, be a threat in transition and dig in when you had to."

The general feeling was that the penalty for North End's winner was on the soft side, Scott Sinclair going to ground under a challenge from Tyler Moore.

For Neil, it was the right decision.

"I thought it was a clear penalty, and I have seen it back," said Neil.

" I know the lad got a bit of a touch on the ball but it was a penalty.

"If you make any contact with the player nowadays or you leave your foot hanging over, it is a penalty.

"The lad clearly comes down on top of Scotty's ankle and I thought it was definite penalty."

A double substitution made by the visitors at the break and a change of shape, saw them come much more into the game.

In fact they were on the front foot for long spells, North End defending well and venturing forward on the counter-attack when the chance allowed.

Neil said: "The worry always in the second half is that with a 1-0 lead, how much are you prepared to risk the ball?

"You need to be brave to make passes at that point because any mistake can lead to a counter attack and the opposition creating chances.

"I thought Paul Gallagher being in the team settled us right down, he has real quality and controlled much of the match.

"Alan Browne next to him was sensational as well. There were a lot of good performances and when we needed Declan Rudd he made some really good saves.

"He was composed and gave the defence confidence which was good."

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here