"Not for the faint hearted": Alex Neil bracing his Preston side for tough test at Rotherham

Alex Neil knows his Preston side will need to be up for the battle when they head to Rotherham on New Year's Day.

Monday, 31st December 2018, 12:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 10:02 am
Michael Smith battles with Andrew Hughes during PNE's 1-1 draw with Rotherham at Deepdale earlier in the season

North End visit the New York Stadium to face a Millers outfit who dropped into the bottom three after being reduced to nine men in their 1-0 defeat at Bristol City on Saturday.

But the 1-1 draw at Deepdale between the sides at the end of October showed the kind of threat Paul Warne’s men can pose with Neil highlighting goalscorer on the day Michael Smith as one to watch.

“It will be a really tough match, especially at their home ground,” said the PNE boss.

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Michael Smith battles with Andrew Hughes during PNE's 1-1 draw with Rotherham at Deepdale earlier in the season

“They’ve beaten Swansea and Derby there, both good footballing teams They are very direct in the way they play and Paul has got them

working really well.

“They’ve got a lot of draws this year, they are a hard team to beat.

“If Paul had more goals in his team they would have more points on the board but they are certainly dangerous.

“I watched them at Middlesbrough and the big lad Smith bashed them up. He scored against us earlier in the season and is doing well as their targetman.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a game for the faint hearted.”

Former PNE pair Billy Jones (suspension) and Jamie Proctor (injury) will not be involved.