Preston North End manager Alex Neil stands by his players following their Deepdale defeat against West Bromwich Albion

Preston North End boss Alex Neil stuck by his players after their home defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

Sunday, 30th September 2018, 9:20 am
Updated Sunday, 30th September 2018, 10:27 am
Paul Huntington, Ben Davies and Ryan Ledson look dejected after PNE conceded the second goal against West Brom

ALSO READ: Alex Neil thinks Kieran Gibbs should have been sent off for clash with Darnell Fisher in Preston's defeat to West BromNeil oversaw a fourth Championship defeat on the spin as high-flying Albion won 3-2 at Deepdale.

All the goals came in the second half, Jay Rodriguez heading the visitors in front three minutes after the break.

Andrew Hughes brought the Lilywhites level with a 71st minute free-kick but a Ben Davies own goal saw the Baggies regain the lead two minutes later.

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Paul Huntington, Ben Davies and Ryan Ledson look dejected after PNE conceded the second goal against West Brom

Dwight Gayle scored their third goal in the 88th minute before Alan Browne headed a consolation goal in the sixth minute of stoppage-time.

Neil said: "It is difficult to be frustrated because the players gave us everything they had got.

"You can only ever ask someone to give their best and I thought the players tried really hard, our set-up was good.

"In the first half they had a couple of chances but had to work hard to get them and we had a chance with Ryan Ledson hitting the post.

Alex Neil on the touchline against West Bromwich

"Our use of the ball could have better in the first half, that was probably the one criticism I did have.

"We had spoken about starting the second half well and keeping it solid, try to build into the game.

"But after five minutes the ball came into the box, we lost Rodrigeuz because we were watching the ball and he came off the front of us to score the first goal.

"Playing against that type of team when you go behind then becomes really tough."

Chris Maxwell tips an early West Brom header over the bar

North End stayed at the bottom of the table, with a visit to Aston Villa on Tuesday night and then a home game with Wigan to come before the international break.

Said Neil: "The players gave everything they have got and that is why the fans are sticking with us.

"This isn't through a lack of effort, we have got the second youngest squad in the league and were playing probably one of the strongest squads.

"They have a group of guys who have spent the majority of the time in the Premier League.

"It was always going to be a tough ask.

"We showed last season that when we went to difficult places, if we got it right and cut out silly mistakes, we picked up points.

"Today basically summed up what has happened to us this season.

"I think that is three times now that we have lost 3-2 and in each of the games we have performed well, I have not walked away thinking my team is poor or the set-up was rubbish."