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PNE boss fears ‘energetic’ Wigan Athletic side

Alex Neil
Alex Neil

Preston North End manager Alex Neil admits he’s fearful of an ‘energetic’ Wigan Athletic side who’ll turn up to Deepdale this weekend with a ‘strong mentality’.

Around 4,000 Wiganers will make the short trip up the M6 hoping to see their team pick up a positive result to take them back up into the top six.

And Neil - whose side remain rooted to the bottom of the Championship despite a fighting point at Aston Villa in midweek - is well aware of the danger he’ll have to guard against.

“I’m expecting Wigan to be like a lot of teams who have come up,” said Neil.

“Promoted teams are on a bit of a crest of a wave.

“They are used to winning games and have a really strong mentality.

“Wigan have recruited well, signed a few players and spent a few quid.

“I think they will come here with real confidence, they have given everyone a game.

“They are energetic, in your face,it will be a typical derby game.

“I think it is a good game for us going into the break.”

Neil reckons Wigan’s entire forward line will need to be watched carefully, with threats expected from everywhere.

“Wigan have some quality players in their team,” he acknowedged.

“The boy Josh Windass off the right is a good player for them, as is Michael Jacobs off the left.

“They’ve got Nick Powell, who is real quality and can hurt you.

“We know Joe Garner very well – he can lead the line or it can be Will Grigg, who makes wee darts in behind.

“We will need to keep them quiet because we have good players ourselves at the top end of the pitch who can get us goals.

“Scoring goals hasn’t been our issue recently, it’s been the ones we’ve conceded.”