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Championship manager makes bold claim that may concern Aston Villa fans

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Preston North End manager Alex Neil watched his side draw 1-1 with Aston Villa last night and claimed his side dominated the Villans on their own patch. 

Neil’s men went ahead in the first half through Tom Barkhuizen but had to settle for a point when Lewis Grabban coolly converted a spot-kick with a little under 25 minutes remaining.

The award of that penalty annoyed Neil and he felt that a decision such as that was the only way that Steve Bruce’s men were ever going to score, given the dominance of his side who are still just two points off the final play-off spot as it stands.

He told the club’s official website: “We came to Aston Villa, who have spent millions of pounds and dominated them on their own patch.

“The only way they were going to score in the game is if they got a decision which I’m not sure is a penalty. It’s the softest decision I’ve seen against us so it’s really frustrating.

“The one thing I will say is that I’m extremely proud of my team. They were magnificent to a man and we deserved to win the game and I don’t think there’s any question about who was the better team.

“We changed the system tonight and played two up front with Louis Moult coming into the side who I thought did extremely well.

“I thought that was the best way to go against Aston Villa and I thought the boys carried it out to an absolute tee. The only thing I can ask of them is that we should have took our chances better.”

The Verdict

Neil is in bullish mood this week. After taking aim at Wolves for what he perceived as excessive playacting, he has claimed his play-off chasers outplayed one of the best sides in the league.

It is hard to dispute his claim and you can see the growing confidence from the former Norwich manager in what his squad can achieve.

They are still outsiders for the play-offs in my book but where many other, richer rivals are struggling for cohesion, Neil has all his players singing from the same hymn sheet and even the absence of Jordan Hugill does not seem to have derailed them.

Did Preston deserve the win? Let us know in the comments below…

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