"We're all in this together" says Preston North End boss Alex Neil ahead of Boro trip

Preston North End have to quickly wake up from their Wycombe nightmare and get ready to make amends at Middlesbrough tomorrow.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 8:00 am

The Lilywhites’ first-half display in the 1-0 defeat at Adams Park was as poor as things have been in a long time.

They were lucky only to concede once against the division’s bottom side, with Wycombe having far more spirit and fight about them, not to mention their football was better.

Defeat turned up the heat on North End boss Alex Neil, certainly from the fans, with the record in the league in 2021 being three wins, three draws and eight defeats.

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PNE boss Alex Neil at Wycombe on Saturday

Yesterday morning Neil had his usual debrief with Peter Ridsdale at Euxton, the players in for a recovery session as part of the preparations to face Boro.

Post-match on Saturday, Neil spoke at length about the performance and indeed on whether his job might be under threat.

Neil said: “Some of the questions have been edging the way of you wanting me to turn on the squad and say they are better than they have shown, or they are not as good as they have shown.

“The simple fact is we win and lose together and the lads didn’t play well enough in the first half – that is clear for everyone to see.

“Collectively we didn’t do enough throughout the game and got nothing from it.

“That is my responsibility and their responsibility and collectively we need to fix it.

“Are the lads disappointed and gutted? Of course they will be.

“When another team fights more than you, runs more than you, picks up better balls than you, there is only one way to rate it.

“I have been in football all my life and the players have played football for most of their lives, you go through tough spells and it is how you come out of it which is the main thing.

“We need to roll our sleeves up and not feel sorry for ourselves.

“I’m sick and tired of people saying we need some confidence – what we need to do is get on with it and deal with the next game.”

Neil made a triple change at half-time, substituting Ben Whiteman, Daniel Johnson and Scott Sinclair.

The Scot said: “It wasn’t a brave thing, we’d been awful so I wasn’t going to sit and watch the same again.

“I could have taken anyone off apart from Alan Browne who I thought showed a bit of passion and bite.”

PNE were without Greg Cunningham, the left-back sidelined by injury.

Said Neil: “I’ve flogged Greg to death and he’s broken down which I always feared. He’s been excellent since he came back, we missed him.”

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