The 27-year-old Anglo-South African was sent off for the first time in his career in Saturday’s encounter at Deepdale
The winger of South African descent saw a straight red for a rough foul on Morgan Fox in the 22nd minute, the referee Matt Donohue quickly reached out for his pocket to dish out the card.
The decision to send Barkhuizen off clearly had a negative impact on Preston with Stoke grabbing their first win and goal of the season thanks to Lee Gregory in the 39th minute who was assisted by former Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel.
Neil was not happy with the sending off, believing Barkhuizen did make the challenge intentionally and will hence appeal the decision.
“It was right next to their dugout, they’re all up in arms, the lad is rolling about and to be honest I wasn’t quite sure what had happened. Once I’ve seen it back, I think Tom’s extremely unfortunate,” Neil said on the Preston website.
“He’s running towards the ball to try and get there, he tries to slow down realising he’s probably not going to make it and then starts to lose his footing and sort of slides into the tackle. I certainly don’t think there was any signal of intent there.
“It will be really interesting because I certainly imagine we will be appealing that and once they look at it back, certainly anybody who’s played the game, they will understand that there’s no intent whatsoever from Tom there to hurt the player or even to go into the tackle, I don’t think he’s actually trying to tackle at all, he just sort of slides into it.
“We’re extremely hopeful that that should be overturned.”
Stoke boss Michael O’Neill holds a different opinion, that Barkhuizen’s sending off was justified.
“I thought there were aspects of the performance which were good and aspects that we certainly need to improve on, there’s no doubt about that,” the Northern Irish tactician said.
“I thought we started the game quite well but then we were a little bit under the cosh.
“The red card then obviously plays a factor. I think it’s a red card, it’s a poor challenge.
“I thought we should have scored again and it would have made it easier for us.”
Preston remain winless after three Championship rounds and will hope Barkhuizen’s suspension can be overturned when they next tackle Brentford on November 4.