Preston boss not playing the blame game after home loss

Alex Neil says he is prepared to take his share of blame for Preston North End's poor performance in their home defeat to Ipswich.

Monday, 26th February 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 26th February 2018, 9:00 am

PNE were beaten 1-0 by Mick McCarthy’s outfit, that only their second reverse in the league in 18 games.

The Tractor Boys became the first team to do the double over Neil’s men this campaign.

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Preston North End's Manager Alex Neil makes a double substitution

Neil chopped and changed to find a way back into the game after Mustapha Carayol put the visitors in front in the 22nd minute.

He substituted Calum Woods and Callum Robinson in the 38th minute, with the formation changing at least three times.

But PNE toiled and nothing had the desired affect.

Neil said: “I want to make something clear, I’m not just laying this at the players’ door.

Preston North End's Manager Alex Neil makes a double substitution

“I need to try and figure out a better way and solution for us to try and break teams down.

“I’m not pointing the finger at the players, we win and lose together.

“I’ve often said how well the players have done since I have been here and the result against Ipswich won’t change my opinion of them.”

Neil started with a 4-4-2 on Saturday, changing to 4-2-3-1 after the double substitution.

He later switched back to 4-4-2 and even ended the game with Paul Huntington playing as an extra striker.

But an equaliser proved elusive as Ipswich defended solidly.

Said Neil: “I’d been in that situation before as a player, coach and manager.

“If you put loads of players at the top end of the pitch, it ends up as a wall of players.

“If you try and get people to drop, you can keep possession all day long but still not look threatening.

“The simple fact is that when you are not playing well, it doesn’t matter how many people you have up front.

“We started with two up front, then one up front, we played three up front and went back to two.

“We put Hunts up there which was a sign of desperation, I fully admit that.”

The double sub saw Josh Harrop and Josh Earl join the action, Neil saying Ipswich’s threat down their left side was the reason.

“They were causing some bother down that side and had a couple of opportunities,” said Neil.

“It looked like they might score again and it was my job to address that.

“I don’t like taking players off in the first half but if they are not performing well, they are subject to change.

“Callum Robinson has played very well this season and it is not down to him that we lost the game or anything like that.

“If you were to name any player in our team, I don’t think you could turn to one and say they played very well.”