Sheffield United defeat sums up Preston North End's season says Alex Neil

Preston North End manager Alex Neil felt that his side's defeat to Sheffield United summed up the season so far.

Saturday, 22nd September 2018, 9:59 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd September 2018, 9:23 am
PNE on their kness after conceding the third goal

The Lilywhites were beaten 3-2 at Bramall Lane, battling back from 2-0 down to score twice in quick succession in the last 10 minutes to drew level.

But in the 87th minute they allowed the Blades to score their winner.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

PNE on their kness after conceding the third goal

Neil said: "It's been the story of our season so far.

"When we do fight our way back into matches and get to a point where we look like the team likely to go on and win it, we get hit by the sucker punch.

"It is about a bit of game management, a bit of experience and recognising we can still throw caution to the wind a little bit but having done the hard work it's doing that with an element of caution about it.

"We didn't do that because the third goal we concede was really poor, especially at that stage of the game.

PNE boss Alex Neil

"It was just really frustrating because the second half performance certainly merited something."

North End fell behind to Billy Sharp's goal in the 36th minute, with Chris Basham doubling the hosts' lead early in the second half.

The visitors were better as the game went on, Callum Robinson halving the deficit in the 80th minute before Daniel Johnson equalised after 83 minutes.

But any hopes of securing a first away point of the campaign were dashed by David McGoldrick's 87th minute goal.

Callum Robinson and Daniel Johnson celebrate the equaliser

Neil said: "If you look at their winner, our back five was in tact.

"We got done by a one-two down the flank which gets them in behind us, that is really poor.

"We didn't repair it at the front area and when the ball comes across your box there is a real danger.

"They were a bit fortunate that it went right through Paul Huntington's legs but that seems to be the story for us at the moment.

"I thought for 35-40 minutes of the second half we showed what we are probably capable of but it has to be more on a consistent basis.

"The comeback is tainted by us going on to lose the game.

"Points are the most important thing for us at the moment."