PNE striker reacted well to substitution

Alex Neil says he found Jordan Hugill's attitude '˜refreshing' after his substitution during Preston's win at Burton last weekend.

Thursday, 14th December 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 14th December 2017, 8:30 am
Preston North End manager Alex Neil talks to Jordan Hugill

The highly-rated striker came off after an hour of the 2-1 victory, the game goalless at the time.

Daryl Horgan replaced him, the winger going on to make a significant impact.

Neil and Hugill were seen talking together at the final whistle as they went over to applaud the travelling North End supporters.

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“He was a bit frustrated in the dug out and basically what I said to him was that you have to understand that this is not about you, it is about the team,” said Neil.

“To be fair to Jordan, he said he was frustrated with himself because he hadn’t played as well as he can.

“That is refreshing to hear from a player and I told him to keep working hard and doing what he is doing.

“He’s been a real focal point for us this season and his game has come on.

“But sometimes I have to make decisions on behalf of the team and the club.

“If Jordan or anyone else is not quite playing well enough and I think that could be to the detriment of the result, then I will make a decision which gives us the best chance of winning.

“Last week, I just thought that the Burton centre-backs were comfortable in dealing with Jordan.

“All three of them are big lads and happy to bundle into each other.

“I thought the movement of Tom Barkhuizen down the middle would open that area up, together with having the pace of Daryl Horgan down the flank.”

Neil’s focus is now firmly focused on Saturday’s home clash with Sheffield United.

A bumper sized crowd is expected for the Roses clash, with the Blades expected to be backed by a 4,000 following.

The manner in which Neil’s substitutes have impacted on the last two games, will give him plenty of food for thought when it comes to selection.

Said Neil: “We’ve still got a couple of training sessions to get through before the game but touch wood, we are okay in terms of availability.

“We’ve no one quite back in terms of the injured lads but we’ve no fresh worries right now.

“It is good to have options in terms of picking the side.

“Daryl Horgan did well at Burton when he came on, Josh Harrop has made a real impact in the last two games.

“We have Daniel Johnson on the bench at Burton after his suspension, he’s arguably been one of our best players this season.

“There are other lads who are desperate for a chance.

“We are certainly in a much better situation than we were four or five weeks ago.”