Alex Neil forced into late reshuffle after Preston North End lose players to injury and illness ahead of Hull draw

Preston North End boss Alex Neil was forced into a late reshuffle after losing players to illness and injury on the morning of their 1-1 draw at Hull City.

Saturday, 20th October 2018, 10:15 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th October 2018, 11:23 pm
Preston North End boss Alex Neil looks on during the draw at Hull

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The Lilywhites manager expected to have plenty of options at the KCOM Stadium but woke up on Saturday to find he was without some key men.

Tom Clarke missed out with a groin problem having been unwell during the week while Callum Robinson was ill and only fit enough for the bench.

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Preston North End boss Alex Neil looks on during the draw at Hull

Tom Barkhuizen was also unavailable after having an injection in an ankle problem

“I was there this morning thinking I had pretty much a full squad available,” Neil said after Louis Moult’s stoppage time strike handed his side a point on Humberside.

“Then Jacko (physio Matt Jackson) comes down for breakfast and breaks the bad news.

“I had about three hours to find a solution but that’s part and parcel of football.

“Sometimes when you’re going through a little spell where it’s tough then these are the challenges that throw themselves up.

“But you’ve just got to take it on the chin and get on with it.

“If you sit and feel sorry for yourself and moan about it then it’s not going to help anything.”

With PNE short on numbers in-form academy striker Ethan Walker was pulled from the Under 18s game at Fleetwood and driven over on Saturday morning. The 16-year-old would have been in the match-day squad had Robinson not made it.

“He was down to play for the Under 18s but got carted over at 10 o’clock,” said Neil.

“He made a two-hour journey and would have taken Callum’s place on the bench.”