Speaking to the club’s official website, Preston North End manager Alex Neil has said he is determined to bounce back from the Lilywhites’ loss to Reading with a win against Leeds United, who he says will be the “biggest test” they have faced so far.

Prior to their late defeat to Reading at the weekend, Preston North End had not lost since their defeat to Swansea City back in August. Despite the loss, PNE still sit in 5th place in the Championship table but will be reeling after a sucker-punch loss to the Royals.

However, manager Alex Neil is determined not to dwell on the loss to Reading, saying that this is the perfect chance to bounce back. They face Leeds United who sit in 2nd place so it by no means be an easy tie, but Neil is determined to bounce back in impressive fashion against Marcelo Bielsa’s side. He said:

“Off the back of Saturday, we will relish the opportunity to get back out there. Saturday was a disappointing performance from us. I didn’t think we merited to lose the game – I didn’t think Reading created enough to deserve to win and it was a real sickener and sucker punch to concede in the 98th minute.
“Having said that, what I have always done is separate performance and result. The Result shouldn’t have been what it was, but the performance was well short of what we would expect. I didn’t think we hit anywhere near the heights we are capable of and that is the real frustration for us that we will look to rectify.
“There were some golden opportunities, where they only had once chance and the goal, but we had good chances for Tom Barkhuizen, David Nugent and Ben Davies and on that basis we didn’t serve to lose. We had more possession – which counts for nothing – but we didn’t play to our quality, or standards that we have set this season and that’s the thing the lads will be desperate to get back out onto the pitch to deal with as quickly as possible.
“When you have played poorly, regardless of whether you have won, drawn or lost, you want to get back out and put that right. We have been very good at home so far this season and this, for me, will be the biggest test we have faced so far.”

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Writer for The72 and currently studying at the University of Lincoln. Based in Peterborough/ Lincoln and often writing about Peterborough United amongst other Championship and League One clubs.