We should have won the match - Preston North End boss Alex Neil

Preston North End boss Alex Neil felt his side should have won their final game of the season against Bristol City.

By Tom Sandells
Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 11:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 11:08 pm

The Lilywhites took the lead at Ashton Gate, a delightful backheel form Daniel Johnson finding the run of Sean Maguire who confidently sat down the 'keeper before lifting the ball over him.

In the second half, Famara Diedhiou levelled the game finishing off a Jamie Paterson cross that wasn't dealt with well.

North End did create chances throughout and went close on a few occasion, Neil felt his side were largely in control of the game.

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The Preston players celebrate Sean Maguire's opener.

He said: "I thought we should have won the match if I'm being honest.

"In the first half we were great, we had some really good chances, Paul Gallagher smashed the bar, we scored a great goal with Sean, I thought we had another great chance with Sean where the goalkeeper makes a great save and Brad Potts is just an inch or two from tapping it in.

"In the second half, in the first five minutes we were okay and then I thought for the next 15 or 20 minutes their shape got the better of our shape. We tired in the middle area of the pitch but one we fixed that and matched them up a little bit, there wasn't a lot in the game at that point but the better chances fell to us.

"Gally had a shot that the 'keeper palms over the bar, Tom Barkhuizen is through and just needs to shape it, the goal at Blackburn is reminiscent of it. It was probably an easier chance for him. I thought there was also one when Seani is driving through and should probably slip it to Pottsy just to the side of him to have an easy finish.

"It wasn't a game short of opportunities and chances. I thought the performance in the main was good but ultimately it's about making the difference and winning those games."

An open encounter, that extended PNE's unbeaten run against the Robins to 14 games, Neil expected nothing less from his players.

Despite it being the only game in the division without anything to play for, professional pride was at stake.

Neil said: "We were never going to accept that from our players, and our lads are professional lads as are the Bristol lads off the showing tonight.

"We just went about our work the way we normally do, we wanted to win the game, we wanted to finish on a high.

"I said to the players that you;re constantly being judged as a player, whether it's by me or the fans.

"Not only that, professional pride should take precedence in terms of making sure you go out and give your best. I thought it was a good game."