Win over Norwich would make it a good start says Preston North End boss Alex Neil

Alex Neil wants Preston North End to turn their promising start into a good one at Norwich tonight.

Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 8:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 9:20 pm

The Lilywhites boss returns to his former club with PNE having picked up four points from the opening three games of the new Championship season.

All at Deepdale feel that should have been more, however, with both the 1-0 defeat at Swansea and 2-2 draw against Stoke leaving players, staff and fans alike with a feeling of what might have been.

Neil hopes that will change at Carrow Road as he faces the club he led to the Premier League in 2015.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Preston boss Alex Neil returns to his former club Norwich for a second time as North End manager tonight
Preston boss Alex Neil returns to his former club Norwich for a second time as North End manager tonight

“We’ve had a few good performances but not got the points that show that,” he said.

“In the first half at Swansea we didn’t play as we would have liked and then in the second half we were a lot better and probably should have got something from the game.

“Against Stoke on Saturday we led twice and had more of the play and should have won that match but only came away with a point.

“It makes this game really important for us.

“Although we’ve started the season reasonably well and played quite well, you want points on the board and we need to rectify that in this game.

“If we win the game it will be deemed a good, solid start from us.

“If we lose the game then we’ll be thinking we’ve got some catching up to do and need to win the next one and the one after that.

“This game could go a long way to giving us a good, solid start.”

Both Neil and his opposite number Daniel Farke will take charge of their 50th league games in charge of their respective clubs in Norfolk tonight.

With the sides having drawn 1-1 on the PNE boss’ first return to Carrow Road last November, Neil is back for a second time knowing that the Canaries bear little resemblance to the side he left behind in March 2017.

James Maddison was amongst the players to leave in the summer, joining Leicester City in a deal worth around £20m.

“Fans are the constant and they’ll have their own reaction to me going back again but players-wise there aren’t many left from when I was there,” he said.

“In terms of the starting line-up, Alex Tettey is the probably the only one who was a regular for me during my time there.

“Ivo Pinto is also still there but there’s been wholesale changes.

“If you come down and don’t go straight back up, or don’t perform in a manner where it looks like you’re going to go back up, then naturally you get stripped of your assets. That’s what has happened.”