`

WATCH: Alex Neil’s impassioned defence of his Preston side ahead of Reading clash

Alex Neil launched a fierce defence of his Preston players ahead of the trip to Reading on Saturday.

North End lost back-to-back games over the Easter weekend but remain three points shy of the play-off places in 10th with six games to play.

Preston North End manager Alex Neil

Preston North End manager Alex Neil

At Thursday morning’s pre-match press conference Neil was clearly angry at some of the criticism levelled at his side after going down 4-1 at Sheffield Wednesday on Good Friday and 1-0 at home to Derby on Easter Monday.

“I’m very protective of my team and it gets to me when people criticise them,” said Neil.

“I have nothing but 100 per cent belief in my players.”

Watch Alex Neil’s full pre-match press conference above