ALEX NEIL admitted a half-time tongue-lashing inspired Preston to their comeback 3-1 win over Birmingham at St Andrews.
Veteran home boss Harry Redknapp was sacked shortly after his side had collapsed under the battling qualities of the Deepdale outfit.
Former Hamilton Accies and Norwich City gaffer Neil said: “I made the players aware at half-time that I expected more from them in the second-half.
“I got the response I wanted and I could not have asked any more. We had bits of quality to finish off moves we had at the time.
“I gave them a hard time at the interval and they responded well to come back after trailing by a single goal.”
Redknapp watched his side flop to their fifth successive Championship loss after leading at the interval with a strike from defender Maxime Colin.
But the visitors scored three times in 11 second-half minutes through Daniel Johnson, Jordan Hugill and Tom Barkhuizen to condemn Blues to defeat – and their manager to the sack.
Redknapp took over at St Andrew’s in April and steered the Midlands outfit to survival on the final day of the campaign before signing a one-year deal in May.
His departure comes following a disappointing start to the season which has seen the strugglers take just four points from their opening eight games to sit 23rd in the table.
Preston had not won away from home in 15 league fixtures, but turned the game on its head in the second period to move up to fourth place in the Championship.