Neil Up For Newcastle & Burnley After Stanley Win
Alex Neil is now preparing the squad for meetings against Newcastle and Burnley after Preston made it four wins out of four at Accrington Stanley on Wednesday.
The 100% record, for what it is worth in pre-season, is likely to be seriously challenged when Preston face the Premier League sides having recorded a 3-2 victory at the Wham Stadium on Wednesday evening.
A first half opener from Alan Browne, putting Preston ahead on 37 minutes, was followed up by a second from Callum Robinson, who has now scored five goals in pre-season, before the interval.
Jonny Edwards got Accrington back into the game on the hour before Greg Cunningham restored North End's two goal cushion. Stanley had the last word when Matty Pearson beat goalkeeper Mathew Hudson, on as a second half substitute.
Accrington Stanley: Chapman, Donacien (Pearson, 46), Ogle, Hughes (Mohammed, 46), Sykes (Beckles, 46), Brown (c), Sousa (Clark, 72), Nolan, Kee (Trialist, 46), Edwards, McLeod.
Subs not used: Boco, Richards-Everton.
Preston: Maxwell (Hudson, 62), Grimshaw (Vermijl, 62), Huntington (c) (Boyle, 62), Spurr (Davies, 62), Earl (Cunningham, 62), Pearson (Meulensteen, 62). Browne, Doyle (Horgan, 62), Robinson (Hugill, 62), May (Barkhuizen, 62), Pringle.
Sub not used: Roberts.
Referee: Darren Handley
Preston have won all three of Neil's games when he was officially in charge, he watched on from the stands for the opener, and the two friendlies coming up will be tough, not that Accrington and those before them weren't.
He told the Official Website they will be 'interesting' as Preston probably wouldn't be able to dominate play as has been the case so far, which would give Neil a better idea of seeing 'where the lads are.'
'It's going to be interesting to see because what we've managed to do in the last couple of games is dominate the ball and what these teams will do is try and dominate the ball and when you come up against better players and better teams it can prove to be difficult.'
Adding: 'Based on what I've seen so far, we've done really well, we've got two really difficult tests coming up and it will be good for us to see where the lads are. I think the next couple of games will tell me a lot about how brave we are, are we brave enough to do it against the big teams and to see how concentrated we can be because against these teams, any lack of concentration and they punish you.'
Without being disrespectful to the likes of Accrington and Morecambe, Neil knows Newcastle and Burnley will be ruthless and aren't going to take three, four or five chances to score.
Preston, as the boss knows, will have to be well organised and disciplined.
Neil continued: 'That's the big difference in levels, maybe the lesser teams will take five opportunities to get a goal, these teams need one and for all your good play, you're undone, so we've got to make sure that we are well constructed at the back as we build our play which on a couple of occasions we weren't tonight. What we've got to make sure that our organisation without the ball and how we hunt it together is spot on and it will be a new test for us so it's one I'm looking forward to.'