Alex Neil says PNE's win over Bristol City was a 'big result'

Preston North End boss Alex Neil felt his side were worthy winners against Bristol City even though they gave him some nervous moments in the final stages.

Tuesday, 6th March 2018, 11:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 12:40 am
PNE players celebrate Sean Maguire's winner

Goals from Alan Browne and Sean Maguire gave the Lilywhites a 2-1 victory at Deepdale that a fifth successive win over the Robins.

Browne chipped North End ahead from 25 yards in the 20th minute after capitalising on a poor clearance from Hordur Magnusson.

City equalised in the 67th minute, Famara Diedhiou heading home a cross from Bobby Reid.

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Alan Browne's chip sails over Bristol City keeper Frank Fielding

But within two minutes substitute Sean Maguire got clear of the Robins defence to shoot his side back in front, that his third goal from the bench in two games.

The visitors had Aden Flint sent-off in the 90th minute for hitting out at Greg Cunningham.

Neil said: "I thought we deserved to win, it was a big result.

"In the first half we got the goal and had a couple of decent chances, I thought we were the better side in the game.

PNE manager Alex Neil

"The disappointing thing was that we conceded a sloppy goal - it came just after Greg Cunningham had a good chance to make it 2-0 with a header and the keeper made a good save.

"Then it went 1-1 and at that point you were thinking that we had let it slip.

"Then Sean did what he did, he showed good pace, good quality, shifted the ball from one foot to the other and tucks it away in the corner.

"At that point we really needed that shot in the arm, we were better at the time but the scoreline needed to reflect that.

Alan Browne's chip sails over Bristol City keeper Frank Fielding

"Sean giving us that lead gave us something to hang on to, we had another decent chance with Tom Barkhuizen's one late in the game.

"Later on we were hanging in there nervously and you could see our relative inexperience at times.

"We had a free-kick which we put straight into the keeper's hands, there was the one at the end when Declan Rudd hould have come and we gave away a corner which we had to defend.

"I think Alan Browne played a square pass across the pitch, so at that stage it's no wonder I've got no hair!

PNE manager Alex Neil

"You are hoping we make good decisions and see out the game comfortably.

"That was a lesson for us but all in all, I was delighted with what the lads did."

Neil felt taking the lead again so soon after City's equaliser was vital.

Maguire had only been on the pitch seven minutes when he ran on to a pass from fellow substitute Daniel Johnson to score.

"The longer the game settled after their equaliser, the more difficult it could have been for us," said Neil

"Do we go and push for the winner or do they go and push for the winner?

"For us to go back into the lead straight away was a big blow for them mentally."