Stoke City away is still among toughest tests says Preston North End boss Alex Neil
A midweek trip to Stoke was always the acid test of a team’s credentials in their Premier League days.
ow in their second season back as a Championship club, the Potters are trying to turn the bet365 Stadium back into a venue where the opposition fears to tread.
They are unbeaten in six home games, with four wins and two draws – the last team to win there was Blackburn Rovers at the end of November.
So Preston will need to roll up their sleeves in the Potteries tonight as they look to stretch their unbeaten away run to six games.
PNE boss Alex Neil is confident his side will not lack the necessary fight.
Neil said: “I don’t think anyone in this division would question our resolve.”
The Scot is expecting a tough test from Stoke who are now managed by Michael O’Neill.
Assessing how Stoke will play, Neil said: “They are still relatively direct if Sam Vokes plays. They’ve got a traditional winger in James McClean on the left, with Tom Ince rolling in from the right. Nick Powell has been playing as a No.10.
“They have strength and presence at the back, with Danny Batth, Bruno Martins Indi and Liam Lindsay, while James Chester has just come in.
“They’ve got good footballers in Joe Allen and Sam Clucas.”