What Preston North End boss Alex Neil had to say in his press conference ahead of trip to Ipswich

Alex Neil spoke to the media on Wednesday morning ahead of Preston North End’s trip to Ipswich on Saturday.

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Preston boss Alex Neil speaks to the media on Thursday morning

Preston boss Alex Neil speaks to the media on Thursday morning

Below are the main highlights of the PNE boss’ 20-minute briefing with the press ahead of the trip to Portman Road.

A full week on the training ground…

It’s always nicer when you’ve got time, as much for the lads to recover as anything else. It’s good to get some training is as well because a lot of time in the Championship you just go from game-to-game.

Unbeaten run…

I’ve always said that performing well and winning games breeds confidence. You can’t physically hand someone confidence in football. Winning games, regardless of how you do it is such a tonic.

Trying to climb the table…

We understand the predicament we have been in and these next couple of games are vitally important for us to continue our progress and try and get ourselves further up the table. Then I think we can try and really enjoy the season.

League position…

We’re certainly not comfortable. This game is really important because if we can try and create a bit of distance between ourselves and Ipswich I think that will be crucial. We’ll be saying that in a few weeks’ time too though. Every game at this level is crucial.

Championship as a whole…

If you look at the number of points teams have picked up it’s the tightest it’s ever been in terms of what is separating the top and bottom. It’s all about who performs on the day.

Paul Lambert’s first game in charge…

There’s an element of the unknown in terms of who will play and how they’ll play. One thing is for certain is the players have got a point to prove to Paul. Every one of them will think they’ve got a chance to try and establish themselves.

Facing another Scottish manager - Neil had been the only one in top two divisions…

We’re gradually dying out for some reason! Things come in cycles. The biggest issue is a lot of the jobs are going abroad because of the amount of foreign owners.

Ipswich test…

I expect it to be a doubly difficult game. It’s going to be a proper football match where both teams are going to get stuck in

Mick McCarthy’s departure in the summer…

I was there when big Mick was the manager and I’m not sure the club wanted him to leave, I think the fans were the biggest issue. Some of the abuse he was getting was quite frightening really. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt and I think that was the case with him.

Injuries…

We should be okay. There’s a couple of bumps and bruises but nothing too concerning.

Counting down to next transfer window…

Our work hasn’t stopped since the last transfer window. Everyone’s aware that we were a bit disappointed that we missed out on a target or two so that’s something we’ll try and remedy.