'Games like that will put me in an early grave': Alex Neil reacts to Preston North End's 3-3 draw with Aston Villa

Alex Neil admitted he had never been involved in a game quite as crazy as Preston North End's 3-3 draw with Aston Villa.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 10:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 11:28 am
Preston North End celebrate Louis Moult's goal that had seemingly put them on their way to victory.

The Lilywhites looked down and out at half-time when 2-0 down to goals from Jonathan Kodjia and Tammy Abraham.

But after James Chester’s red card 10 minutes into the second half saw Daniel Johnson reduce the arrears from the spot Neil’s men stormed back.

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Preston North End celebrate Louis Moult's goal that had seemingly put them on their way to victory.

Paul Gallagher curled home a free-kick on 79 minutes before Louis Moult seemingly completed a remarkable comeback three minutes before the end of the 90.

The drama was far from done though, Yannick Bolasie levelling the game up at 3-3 one minute into stoppage time before Chris Maxwell needed to save Glenn Whelan's penalty in the last action of the game to ensure PNE had a point to show for their efforts.

“I’ve been involved in football all my life and I’ve never been involved in a game like that,” said Neil.

“As a spectator it must be brilliant, as a manager it’s going to put me in an early grave.

“It’s just hard to watch at times. It’s gone, then you’ve got it and it’s gone again.

“It was a bizarre game.”

North End were a different side in the second half, Johnson helping turn the game having been brought on in place of Ryan Ledson at the break.

“I’ve got immense pride in the second half performance,” said Neil.

“We didn’t play well in the first half. Our use of the ball was poor and we didn’t do the things that we e good at.

“The second half was an absolute roll reversal.

“DJ came on and had a big impact on the game and the other lads looked after the ball a lot better than they did in the first half.

“For the first 10 minutes of the second half we were totally dominant and then the game changes with the lad getting sent off and us getting the penalty.

“After the goal we moved the ball really well. We were patient, we prodded, we moved them and deservedly got in front.

“At that point I’m thinking ‘three points, excellent, 88 minutes on the clock’.

“But we’re just a bit young and naive in some of the things we do and it goes to 3-3.

“We then starting flinging men forward as if it’s the last minute of the World Cup final and they break on us and nearly score.

“Then they get an opportunity to win the game and Maxi has to make a great save to prevent that from happening.”