Preston North End boss gives verdict on loss at Millwall – and explains why he takes blame for Scott Malone’s opener

BY KAI BENNETT

Alex Neil believed his Preston side should have come away with a point on Tuesday night.

And the Scottish boss took responsibility for Millwall’s first goal, an excellent strike by Scott Malone.

Ched Evans opened the scoring for North End but the Lions turned the contest around with Mason Bennett heading a late winner.

Neil said: “We should’ve come away with a point and we didn’t because we didn’t do what we knew was coming. We didn’t do it well enough on a couple of incidences – that’s ultimately cost us the game tonight.’

“I’ll take responsibility for the first goal as I’ve told the lads to defend deep, and don’t get caught in behind. That’s what they did and the lads smashed it in the top corner, so they followed my instructions for that so that’s fine.

“It’s disappointing he scored but it’s a strike worthy of a goal, if that makes sense. They are easy to sort of accept, if you like, because you look and you think ‘that’s a great strike from the lad, he’s put in the top corner – fair play’.’

“The second half was disappointing because we knew it was going to be scrappy, we knew it wasn’t going to be a beautiful game, the pitch wasn’t great.

“When they turned it forward they put it in behind us, and they put it in there with a little bit of quality. They got us facing our own goal and made us defend and when we put it forward, whether it would be through open play or dead ball or through a goal kick, everything dropped short.

“I told them to defend the space in behind, don’t get done and the second goal we get lobbed and they get in behind and score – that costs us the game.”

 


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