Alex Neil: 'Preston North End wrongly written off for promotion'

Alex Neil admits that he was keen to change Preston North End's style of play in his first season at the helm, which he hopes will end with promotion come next May.

Preston North End manager Alex Neil has claimed that his side have wrongly been "disregarded" by outsiders as they seek promotion to the English top flight.

The Lilywhites are one of just fives sides in the division to have never played in the Premier League, last competing at the very top in 1961.

Neil has already turned Preston into potential promotion contenders since taking over from Simon Grayson in the summer, however, taking 15 points from the first eight games to guide his side into fourth place.

In an interview with The Guardian, the former Hamilton Academical and Norwich City boss outlined his intention to change neutrals' perspective of North End.

"I wanted to change the style of play from the previous regime – which had good success at this club, so there's no mocking that, but I felt looking at the squad there was enough energy and quality to go and play differently," he said.

"When the opposition have got the ball, we want it as quickly as possible. We don't sit off the game and let them have it... make them make mistakes. Hurt them in the transitions. When we've got it, we want to rotate it quickly, don't give them a chance to get set and press you, and try to be as aggressive with our passing as we can.

"The issue with the club, from an outside perspective, is that we're one of the clubs that hasn't been in the modern-day Premier League. "Because we haven't been there, we get disregarded to an extent."

Preston, who have won each of their last two league games, take on Millwall at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon in their next outing.

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Alex Neil poses with his Manager of the Month award for September 2016
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