Preston North End need to start outplaying their opposition like the top sides

Preston North End need to start outplaying their opposition like the top sides, according to their manager Alex Neil.

Sunday, 23rd February 2020, 6:00 am
Paul Gallagher celebrates his equaliser.

Preston came from behind to beat Hull City on Saturday, their second half saving their first.

North End fell behind just before half time as Mallik Wilks headed home before a penalty from Paul Gallagher and an Alan Browne took all three points.

Neil didn't see the opening exchanges as being too poor, but he does insist that Preston need to start taking the game to their opposition and stamp their authority on teams

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Alex Neil in discussion with Ben Pearson.

He said: "I don’t think we were as bad as what maybe people would suggest in the first half. What I think we lacked was a bit of bravery.

"I didn’t think we got the ball out enough, and I thought when we did move it we moved it too slowly.

"When we tried to play it forward, instead of playing into the spaces we spoke about we were just running it because there is no risk attached to that pass.

"I don’t think the conditions helped, but for us, and I said this to the players at half time.

"If we want to move up the table, if you watch a Fulham or a Brentford or a West Brom, or any of the top teams, they go and out play teams. We need to go and move the ball.

"If we just resort to banging it forward and just playing in their half, it isn’t going to be enough. We’ve been used to playing in a manner that gets us results, but if we want to move on to that next stage, we need to be good enough to out play teams.

"First half, I thought we took the easy option, so I’m talking about bravery in a different way.

"There is bravery in terms of putting your head in when it hurts but there’s also bravery about getting the ball under pressure, taking it, manipulating the ball, moving it and having the opposition have to come out and get after you and leave space for you to hurt.

"I thought we did that far better second half and that was the focus of our talk at half time."

The Scot was pleased with the win, but doesn't necessarily look at results.

The improvement in performance in the second half was almost as pleasing as the result for the PNE boss.

He said: "I try and remove the performance from what the performance is. Because what I’m a big believer is if you play well enough often enough, you’ll get the results.

"If you’re not playing well enough even if you’re scraping wins, it won’t be enough over the period.

"You’ll get find out, you’ll get caught, that poor performance can’t continue. I thought second half was a good performance."