Neil - We're Making Steady Progress
A goal in each half was enough to secure Preston a victory at Morecambe.
Tom Barkhuizen, who saw his impressive form following an arrival from Morecambe last season earn him a new long-term deal, opened the scoring, a third game in a row he has found the back of the net in pre-season, against his former club in the first half.
A 2-0 win at the Globe Arena, home of the Shrimps, was secured when Ben Pearson fired home from 25 yards.
Morecambe: Trialist, McGowan (Kenyon, 60), Thompson (Jordan, 70), Oliver (Brough, 60), Ellison (Yawson, 83), Conlan (Trialist 4, 60), Trialist 2 (Fleming, 60), Turner (Lund, 60), Trialist 3 (Campbell, 60), Rose (c), Hedley (Hawley, 60).
Preston: Maxwell (Hudson, 60), Vermijl (Grimshaw, 60), Cunningham (c) (Earl, 60), Pearson (Browne, 60), Boyle (Huntington, 60), Davies (Spurr, 60), Barkhuizen (Meulensteen, 60), Johnson, Hugill (May, 60), Robinson (Doyle, 60), Horgan (Pringle, 60).
Referee: Darren Handley
Preston, who included Jordan Hugill, reportedly interesting Birmingham, remain unbeaten in under Alex Neil as the boss made it three from three, albeit he was technically watching on from the stands when North End won the opener against Bamber Bridge.
Neil, taking the chance to again look at plenty of options as he made wholesale changes on the hour, has told the Official Website he's pleased with the progress made by North End so far but he still thinks, despite saying the 'lads have done really well', there's room for improvement.
'We're making steady progress. As the half wore on, we got better - I thought in the first 15 minutes of the second half was our best spell. We moved the ball well and dictated the play well, but I didn't think we were aggressive enough with our passing at times in the first half.'
Adding: 'I think we can play forward a bit quicker and I think we can be more adventurous when we've got the ball - but as you can see the lads are taking everything on board and they're trying to implement it. We were totally dominant in the game and we controlled the ball for pretty much the full match; created some good chances - so there's definitely some things to still work on but as a starting point I think the lads have done really well.'
Barkhuizen had been used in different positions across the front line during pre-season and Neil's happy with his sharpness and finishing so far.
Neil said: 'We've played Tom off the flank in each of the games and what he does well is drift in through the line really well. He's hard to pick up as he plays inbetween people - he's really sharp off the mark and finishing wise he's excellent so I'm really pleased for him.'