Preston North End boss Alex Neil heads to QPR looking up Championship table

Alex Neil wants Preston North End to hit a winning run to improve on a league position which he is not comfortable with but at the same time does not '˜petrify' him.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 4:26 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 1:38 am

Lilywhites boss Neil takes his side to London tomorrow to face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

They will backed by more than 1,200 supporters who will be hoping to see their side win for the first time in more than a month.

In the Championship PNE have taken two points from the last five games, leaving them in 18th place.

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Darnell Fisher (above) is likely to get the nod at right-back if Tom Clarke is ruled out of Preston's visit to QPR
Darnell Fisher (above) is likely to get the nod at right-back if Tom Clarke is ruled out of Preston's visit to QPR

There is a seven-point gap between them and Reading who are third from bottom.

Neil said: “I’m looking at winning the next game which is what I always do.

“The next batch of five, six, seven games will determine where we are looking. We want to get to the stage where we are comfortable, I don’t feel comfortable at the moment – nothing like it.

“I’m not overly concerned or petrified either, about where we are in the table.

“But I’m looking at it and thinking we need to win a few games, we are aware of that.

“We will be going to QPR to try and win it – our aim is to win every game.

“That is the aim of every team, whether you are trying to get into the top six, trying to avoid the bottom end or want to get further up the table.

“For us at the moment it is about trying to catch teams above us and go beyond them.

“In a few games’ time we will assess where we are and look at what we need to do.”

With regards looking up the table rather than down, 13 points separate North End from sixth-placed Derby.

It is a sizeable gap, however Neil thinks there is not such a big gulf in terms of quality.

“When we have played the top teams we have played as well against them as we have against teams around us in the table,” said Neil.

“At this level is it about that little bit of quality, taking an opportunity.

“The Leeds game when we lost 3-0 stands out, they are the best team we have played and that night there was a gulf between us.”

Darnell Fisher is likely to come into the team tomorrow to replace Tom Clarke.

The skipper pulled up with a calf strain against Swansea and Neil fears the QPR trip will come too soon for him.

Paul Huntington should be fit after complaining of a tight groin muscle last week.

Ben Davies and Louis Moult returned to training yesterday after time out with hamstring problems.

However, it might be a risk to play them with just a couple of sessions under their belts.

Said Neil: “I’m not sure if Ben or Louis are going to be involved. It’s early days but the fact they are joining in again is a positive.”