PNE aim to warm up the Gentry with win at Bolton
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Bowler hat and suits will be out in force at one end of the Macron Stadium as the North End faithful pay tribute to those supporters and players no longer with them.
It is the 12th Gentry Day held since 2005 and this one will be the coldest with the country in the grip of the ‘Beast from the East’.
Bolton’s undersoil heating should ensure that the game goes ahead.
PNE make their shortest trip of the season in need of a win, with their last victory coming a month ago against Hull City.
Neil though, believes the results of the last few weeks have not painted a full picture of his side’s performances. “I think we are due a win but arguably we deserved to get more from recent games,” said the Lilywhites boss.
“I’d argue that we should have won at Brentford, as they should have had a red card.
“Against Wolves I thought we were unfortunate to go down to 10 men.
“Aston Villa was arguably one of our best performances of the season, certainly away from home.
“You can’t do much more than play as well as you can.
“If that brings a win, great, that is what you are trying to achieve.
“Sometimes you just don’t perform well enough and if that happens it costs you, like it did against Ipswich.”
Neil refused to read the riot act to the PNE squad after last week’s poor show.
He allowed them two days off afterwards to freshen up before they returned to the training pitch to build up to tomorrow’s clash.
Some of the squad played in a behind-closed-doors game against Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday to get some match sharpness in their legs, among them Sean Maguire who is chasing full fitness after four months out with a detached hamstring muscle.
Neil could be tempted to make a couple of changes at Bolton.
Who he plays up front will be of key interest, Neil having started Callum Robinson and Louis Moult in tandem for the last two games.
Robinson lasted only 37 minutes of the Ipswich game before he was taken off as part of a double substitution.
Moult was ineffective as a lone striker, North End going rather direct not helping him.
Said Neil: “There is always the temptation to freshen things up, particularly off the back of a poor performance.
“The team which I put out tomorrow will be the one which I think is best suited to go there and win the game.
“What happened last week is behind us, we’ve chalked it off and moved on.”