Preston's Perfect End To Pre-Season At Fleetwood
Admittedly, of course in both cases, it was only a friendly but Preston responded to the Burnley defeat with the thrashing of Fleetwood to round off pre-season with a win on Friday.
Despite slipping behind at Highbury, North End recovered to record a 5-1 victory against Uwe Rosler's side.
Fleetwood made a good start when the League One side went ahead as Cain Bolger headed in from a George Glendon corner. However, Paul Huntington converted from Callum Robinson's own corner before half time to level it up.
Tom Barkhuizen, against a former club, put Preston ahead in the second half. Daniel Johnson's penalty, after Sean Maguire, handed a start, was fouled by Fleetwood's Nathan Pond extended the lead.
Daryl Horgan came off the bench to add a fourth with Josh Harrop's pressure resulting in Cod Army defender Lewie Coyle turning the ball past his own goalkeeper for North End's fifth.
Fleetwood: Cairns, Coyle, Bell (Ekpolo, 80), Eastham, Pond (c) (Rodgers, 74), Hiwula, Dempsey (Schwabl, 83), McAleny (Cole, 76), Grant, Bolger, Glendon. Subs not used: Crellin, Nirennold, Burns, Hunter.
Preston: Hudson, Fisher (Vermijl, 79), Cunningham (c) (O`Connor, 86), Pearson, Huntington, Spurr (Davies, 70), Barkhuizen (Horgan, 70), Browne (Harrop, 61), Maguire (Doyle, 79), Johnson, Robinson. Subs not used: Roberts, Boyle, Grimshaw, Pringle, Earl.
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Obviously delighted, Alex Neil told the Official Website it was a 'perfect way' to round off pre-season.
'It's probably the perfect way to finish a pre-season campaign, I think the big thing for us now is making sure that how hard we worked tonight and how well we moved the ball we try and take that into competitive action next week.'
The performance pleased the boss along with the reaction to falling behind, albeit in a friendly environment, impressing Neil too who was especially pleased with the second half showing.
He said: 'We played really well, I felt we should have been in front and it's always disappointing when you go a goal down against the run of play but we need to try and make sure we improve on defensive set plays because it has been a weakness for the last couple of weeks so that is something we will certainly work on.'
Adding: 'In terms of the game itself, the way we played, the chances we created and certainly how we performed in the second half I was delighted.'
Now Neil has to make the decisions on who will be part of his starting XI in the curtain raiser against Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale next weekend.
With a good squad to select from the Scot feels this is a luxury problem he's pleased to face.
'That is the luxury of having a good squad, over the course of the season we are going to have to use everyone. Everybody is going to have to be ready and the guys who are called upon will need to make sure they do the job,' said Neil.
'We are all excited about it [the opening game of the season], the lads will have an in-house game tomorrow which the lads who didn't play tonight will play in, then they will rest Sunday and then Monday we will be back in getting ready for next week.'