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339548 / Blog / Brentford / Football / Preston North End

Alex Neil: Preston need to tighten up at the back

Alex Neil: Preston need to tighten up at the back


Preston boss Alex Neil admits his side were made to work hard for their pulsating 4-3 Sky Bet Championship victory over Brentford despite scoring three times in the opening 23 minutes.

Alan Browne, Callum Robinson and Tom Barkhuizen helped the hosts burst into a 3-0 lead before Sergi Canos and Ollie Watkins brought Brentford back into the contest.

Robinson’s second gave breathing space for the hosts but Neal Maupay’s effort five minutes from time ensured Preston had to dig deep for all three points.

The Lilywhites are now unbeaten in four matches but after almost letting such a comfortable margin slip, Neil has called for his side to keep their focus throughout the 90 minutes.

“I think we’ve been involved in a lot of high scoring matches this year, not by design really,” Neil said. “I think once we go 3-0 up, we’re hoping to then go and try and make it an easier night for ourselves.

“But Brentford are a good side, they pose you a lot of questions and a lot of problems. The first goal’s a worldie really for Sergi (Canos).

“Then the second goal’s a really bad deflection so it carried a little bit of fortune with it.

“I think conceding three goals is naturally concerning, we need to make sure we try and tighten up. I thought we simplified things in terms of not really risking it at the back, turning the ball forward earlier and then playing in their half.

“I thought that worked really well for us, we scored four goals and to be honest, could have probably scored more.”

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank claimed his side must improve defensively after shipping four goals at Deepdale.

The Dane lamented Brentford’s disastrous opening 23 minutes but praised the way his side fought back in the second half.

“I think you can split it up into three areas,” he said. “I think the first is we conceded three goals, four goals in general but three goals quickly in 20 minutes.

“You can’t concede four goals and think you’re going to win. The first is the deflection where they get in behind and score, the second one, well done from them, it was good play and a top finish, the third one, I think it was offside. After that we didn’t give up.

“In the second half, the first 20 minutes was really good. We got the goal, went closer, and then we didn’t defend again good enough.

“We get it to 4-3 and you could see they were getting lower and lower. Overall, we attacked well and scored three goals away from home. It should be more than enough to win three points, we need to defend better in general.”

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