North End star excited by Neil certainty

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Tom Barkhuizen says Preston's summer plans can benefit from Alex Neil signing a contract extension at Deepdale.

Tom Barkhuizen says Preston’s summer plans can benefit from Alex Neil signing a contract extension at Deepdale.

Neil signed a new three-year-deal last weekend to put paid to rumours of interest in him from West Bromwich Albion.

And Barkhuizen, whose season may be over after a knee injury, says North End can look forward to the next season with real optimism as Neil continues to move the club forward.

‘It is one of those things where it is a testament to how well the team has done there and how well the manager has done here,’ he told the club’s website.

‘Other teams were looking at him, from the club’s point of view, to get him tied down is a massive statement – I think it sends a message to the players who want to play for a manager who is going to be here and can help them get to where they want to be.

‘It is a brush that PNE’s been tarnished with recently, that if people do well they are going to get bought or taken.

‘We don’t know what has gone on behind the scenes, but I am sure the gaffer has been given certain things that he wants and he is really happy working with this group of players and I think the players enjoy working for him.

‘I think we have shown over the last two years how much we play for the manager and it gets player’s heads right for the summer.

‘We have been on the edge of it for the past two seasons, we have a great group of players and I think the manager staying will make people think twice about what they want to do.’

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