Preston North End boss Alex Neil praises two Middlesbrough players after Riverside draw
Preston North End manager Alex Neil didn’t feel his side missed an opportunity following Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough.
The visitors extended their unbeaten run to seven games in the Championship, yet there was some suggestions it was two points dropped.
Boro came into the game off the back of a 4-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and have now recorded just two wins in ten league games this term.
Midfielder Josh Harrop put Preston ahead with 40 minutes on the clock, yet Boro equalised immediately courtesy of a Darnell Fisher own goal.
And, despite claiming his side had the best chance to win the game, Neil felt a draw was the right result.
“I think it was a fair result, I thought first half we controlled the ball a little bit better but without really threatening,” he said.
“I thought they looked a bit more threatening than us in the first half." I thought they retained the ball better than us at the top end of the pitch which allowed their midfield to create a few more chances.
“I thought second half we created probably the best chance for Daniel Johnson and he doesn't make clean contact."
When asked if he felt it was a missed opportunity, Neil replied: “No, I think that's unfair. Middlesbrough have good players. They have been a team challenging to get out of this league in recent seasons. It was a hard-fought game. We can play better. I thought it was a fair result.
The Preston boss particularly focused on the midfield battle, where Boro duo Paddy McNair and Jonny Howson impressed.
“I thought the pitch was enormous in terms of they tried to pin us back, we tried to pin them back and the middle of the pitch became huge,” added Neil.
“I thought Howson and McNair’s energy and legs, they can move. I just thought we needed to match it up in that respect and I thought DJ, (Ben) Pearson and Alan Browne gave as good as they got in that respect.
“There was a lot of running, a lot of harrying, picking up second balls and I thought it was a tough game for both teams.”