ALEX NEIL praised his Preston players, despite the 1-0 defeat at Swansea City.

The North End boss remarked: “I said at half-time we can either sit in if you don’t believe you’re good enough to play against them – or we can go up against them and move the ball much better.

“I had about seven players on the ball who under-performed for me in the first-half.

“But to be fair to them, as they generally do, they rose to the challenge and their quality was miles improved.”

Oli McBurnie, who made his Scotland international debut in the 1-0 loss against Costa Rica in March, blew the chance to score early for the Welsh outfit.

Jay Fulton headed in the only goal of the game just after the half-hour mark, but the 22-year-old Scots hopeful saw a tame penalty-kick saved by Declan Rudd in the 11th minute.

Former Rangers winger Barrie McKay, the recent signing from Nottingham Forest, had been sent flying in the box by Alan Browne to earn the spot-kick award.

Swansea have now gone 18 games unbeaten against Preston, a run that started in 1961, and new boss Graham Potter said: “If you can’t grind out a result you are dead in any league.

“We have a philosophy of how we want to play, but in the second-half they made it tough for us.

“We kept a clean sheet and I am really, really pleased.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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