Alex Neil admits Preston North End not at their best despite win over Millwall

ALEX Neil admitted his side’s performance against Millwall on Saturday was “a bit mixed” – as injury-hit Preston extended their run to just one defeat in 12 games.

Preston won 3-2 to hand the Lions an 11th league defeat in 22 games this season.

Millwall had 17 efforts on goal with Neil Harris admitting afterwards he was “at a loss” to explain how his side hadn’t got anything out of the game.

Preston scored from their only two shots on target in the first half, the second from Tom Barkhuizen (above), before a spirited Millwall rally after the break should have seen them take some reward from the contest.

"I thought it was a bit mixed, in the first half we controlled the ball well without really creating chances or being penetrative enough,” Lilywhites manager Neil said.

"We had DJ [Daniel Johnson] tucked in on the left side and we couldn't really penetrate them down both sides. You need to use the full width against Millwall.

"At that stage we looked quite comfortable, Millwall only had one set-play which Steve Morison headed back across.

"In the second half, I'll be honest, our play wasn't great at all. We didn't move the ball well and it didn't stick at the top end of the pitch.

"We had very little on the bench in terms of being able to change the game. At the top end we only had Graham Burke and Ethan Walker – who is 16 – on the bench.

"Everyone will acknowledge it wasn't the best performance in the second half, there were a lot of poor bits from us.

"But I think there are certain games over the course of the season when results are more important than performance and this one fell into that category."

Preston midfielder Paul Gallagher created the first two goals, and he agreed with his manager’s assessment.

“You know what you’re going to get from Millwall,” Gallagher said. “They are going to put balls in your box and ask questions of you.

“Even going in at half-time 2-0 up we weren’t happy with the performance and knew we could play a lot better.

“But in this league you just need to take the wins. Not many people will remember that game in a few days, it wasn’t the best of games.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly