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Neil gets a thumbs up for first season at the controls

Preston's Alan Browne up against City's Ivo Pinto during the match at Carrow Road in November. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Preston's Alan Browne up against City's Ivo Pinto during the match at Carrow Road in November. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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QJust how well has Alex Neil done in his first season at Deepdale?

AHe has carried on the good work done by Simon Grayson, but I would say that he has exceeded expectations. 8/10.

QDo you think North End will make it into the top six?

AIt’s 50/50 as we speak with North End playing Cup football – one defeat and we are out.

QIs the club ready for the Premier League, if Neil can lead you there?

Ben Pearson has been one of Preston's top performers this season. 
Picture: Andy Kearns/Focus Images LtdBen Pearson has been one of Preston's top performers this season. Picture: Andy Kearns/Focus Images Ltd

AIs any club ready for the Premier League? We have people with Premier League experience behind the scenes ie Peter Ridsdale and an owner who will do what he has to do to ensure we give it our best shot.

QWhich players have been your star performers this season?

AThe young ones have been excellent, Alan Browne, Ben Pearson, Ben Davies and, of course, Sean Maguire who came from Cork City in Ireland.

QAnd which have been disappointing?

ANo real disappointments but we have five players out on loan who I don’t think will feature next season.

QHow has former City keeper Declan Rudd been getting on?

ARudd has been second choice for a good part of the season, but now holds the shirt and will play on Saturday. He is a good shot stopper – I just wish he would come off his line a bit more.

QHave you been surprised to see Norwich adrift of the play-off race?

Nelson Oliveira is fouled by Ben Davies during the November meeting at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdNelson Oliveira is fouled by Ben Davies during the November meeting at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

AVery surprised. I think Norwich have under-achieved this season as I expected them to be in the play-off shakeup at the end of the season.

QWill you be wary of any City players?

AJames Maddison is an obvious threat and I don’t think Alex Neil will be underestimating the Canaries in this game.

QAnd lastly, what is your prediction for Saturday’s game?

AWe seem to be winning by the odd goal and in a must-win game for us I think we will sneak it 2-1.

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