Still real work to go and sharpness to come
Burnley recorded a 2-1 win at Preston last night in our latest pre-season friendly and it was a game that left both managers pleased as their respective teams took a step closer to the new season.
Alex Neil has recently taken charge of Preston and was in charge at their Deepdale home for just the second time. After a difficult first half for them, he said: “I thought we got better second half and the introduction of Sean Maguire at half time with his pace stretched the game for us.
“It was a great individual goal. I thought his pace in behind was excellent and I thought he showed why he’s had such a good season so far this year. The lad’s been here one day and played really well based on that.”
He added: “They started playing deeper which opened up spaces meaning we could move the ball and create some decent chances. All in all, we’re a little bit frustrated with the first half as I think we’re better than that but I think second half was a lot better.
“I thought we played against a really good organised team that work extremely hard and have got some real physical presence in their side. You can see the difference with the two teams especially from set plays, and we got undone with two set plays.
“There’s a difference between the sides in that they’ve probably got about eight or nine players over six foot and we’ve probably got three or four so that’s maybe something we need to look at.”
It was mission accomplished for Sean Dyche. “It’s a night that we wanted in the sense that we got game time in the legs and made sure injuries remain at a minimum. James (Tarkowski) missed out with a tight hip from the weekend and we have to be careful at this stage with minor knocks.
“We also split the team last Saturday and at Preston we brought them together again, and overall I was pleased. It got a bit disjointed at the end, but we’d made that many changes and it’s hard for the players to quickly adapt, but the idea of pre-season is that you are getting players ready.
“Preston were into their sixth game and that was only our second real game, so there is still real work to go and sharpness to come.
“We knew it would be a really competitive game and that’s right and proper in pre-season. It’s hard to find that in pre-season sometimes, but the players had to work hard to get a result.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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