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Alex Neil issues message of caution ahead of Bristol City clash



Alex Neil’s Preston North End host Bristol City this evening, hoping for three more points in their quest for a top six finish.

Preston are currently ninth, three points behind Lee Johnson’s side but with a less favourable goal difference.

A win by more than two goals would see them leapfrog their opponents, although Sheffield United and Middlesbrough still lay between the two teams.

Neil revealed his thoughts on Bristol’s recent form to the Lancashire Post: “Like most teams in this division they have had good periods and bad periods, they have won two in 11 in the league.”

That form has seen them plummet from second to sixth, although a brief stint out of the top six was addressed immediately in their last game.

“In terms of form I wouldn’t say they are coming here in the best form, however they beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 in their last game and will take huge confidence from that. The Championship is that competitive and that difficult in nature that you can go five or six games without winning. Most teams have gone through that, even Wolves have not had their best spell recently.”

Preston already have the upper hand against the Robins having won their early season encounter 2-1 with Paul Gallagher and Callum Robinson scoring. However, Neil doesn’t feel that will have any bearing whatsoever.

“That game was a while ago so I don’t think it will have much bearing. Different players played that night – Stephy Mavididi started for us.”

The Verdict

This is a clash of the ‘have-nots’ to a degree, they’re the only two sides in the top nine not to have played Premier League football at some point.

Neil is right, Bristol City have been in free-fall but that crushing win against the Owls will give them confidence.

It will certainly be a different contest altogether.