Neil urges Preston to keep momentum as they stay second with Huddersfield win

Preston boss Alex Neil was left beaming at the final whistle after seeing his side keep up the pressure at the top of the Championship table and end Huddersfield’s seven-match unbeaten run in the process.

Jayden Stockley headed his first of the season as he reacted quickest to a free-kick, before Alan Browne doubled the lead.

And Paul Gallagher sealed the victory after the break by converting from the spot, with Juninho Bacuna pulling one back for Huddersfield.

“I am really pleased, not just with today, but with our form in recent weeks,” said Neil. “Today is another three points for us, with three goals to go with it, and we stay unbeaten at home.

“I cannot have much to complain about now, we are getting results and performing well.

“It was important to go in at half time in front, and I think based on the chances we created, we deserved that.

“We knew we would have to change something in our approach, as we were missing two important players, but the team reacted well and showed they can adapt in these situations.

“The important thing now for us in the coming weeks is to keep momentum going, we have a great run of form going and the players are confident.

“The players can be very proud of the run that we are on right now.”

Victory kept the home side second in the table, two points behind leaders West Brom, while Huddersfield slipped one place to 19th.

The hosts were in confident mood right from kick off and Stockley handed them a deserved lead after just four minutes at Deepdale.

Browne doubled their advantage ten minutes before the break. The Republic of Ireland international kept his composure to fire home Tom Barkuizen’s cross from a tight angle.

They only had to wait five minutes into the second half to put the game to bed as Gallagher confidently fired home from the penalty spot, following a handball by Terence Kongolo.

Bacuna showed real power to burst through two Preston tackles in midfield, and with the hosts’ defence backing off, he powered an effort home from the edge of the box on 74 minutes.

Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley said: “Of course a result like this is difficult to take, but I simply do not think we started well enough today, and that hampered us.

“We do have to praise Preston, they worked hard right from the start and we struggled to cope with them in the first half.

“They played with a real intensity and we found it hard to cope with that.

“We do not look for excuses in these situations as we cannot control things like the referee or decisions that may or may not go our way.

“I spoke to the referee at the end and there could have been decisions that went differently for us, but sometimes that is the way it goes.

“We have to look at ourselves now and look ahead to the next few games we have coming up.

“The travelling fans were fantastic today, but we let ourselves down with the performance. We came up short and we need to look at that together as a club.”