Preston North End bolstered their promotion credentials as they won for the third Championship game in a row against an in-form Huddersfield Town.
Alex Neil’s men won 3-1 against Danny Cowley’s side who were unbeaten in their previous six games, a run which earned Cowley the October Manager of the Month award.
Jayden Stockley and Alan Browne put PNE into a great half-time position with their first goals of the season before Paul Gallagher scored his third penalty of the campaign on 50 minutes.
Juninho Bacuna did pull one back for the Terriers 15 minutes from the end, but it proved to be only a consolation as the Lilywhites maintained their unbeaten Deepdale record.
Neil’s commitment to PNE is a sign of their success
When Stoke City came calling for North End gaffer Alex Neil last weekend, it could have been easy for the Scot to jump ship in favour of money.
But the 38-year-old has committed his future to the Lancashire club who continue to push their boundaries, sitting second in the league despite having one of the lowest budgets in the division.
Neil told Quest TV: “If you look at what the lads give me on the pitch, there is no way I could leave that.
“That is the main reason why I see my foreseeable future at Preston, leading this team and hopefully achieving something special.”
In his two-and-a-bit seasons at the club, the former Norwich manager has built an impressive looking side, packed with players signed for sub million pound fees.
Daniel Johnson is a prime example of PNE’s smart recruitment, albeit before Neil’s arrival at the club, as he joined for just £50,000 and has arguably been star man this season with eight goals and four assists.
It’s not just individuals though in this Lilywhites side, the team plays as one and if they can keep this form up there is no reason why Neil can’t take them to the Premier League.
Just a blip for Huddersfield or back to their old ways?
The difference in form since Cowley took over at the John Smith’s Stadium is remarkable and something which the manager was rightly rewarded for.
But this performance at Deepdale, especially in the first half, was devoid of ideas, quality and anything else you’d expect to see from an in-form side.
This is a group of players who accumulated just one point before Cowley’s arrival, so they’ve experienced their fair share of disappointment and they’ll be desperate to not let this defeat spiral into another poor run.
The international break probably comes at a good time for the Terriers who will be looking to bounce back at home to Birmingham City when they return in two weekend’s time.