Preston drew 1-1 with Leeds United on Tuesday night, offering a spirited display against one of the title favourites.
North End were never going to lie down against Marcelo Bielsa’s side, and showed they can challenge any of the raved-about sides in the Championship.
Tom Barkhuizen put Preston in front from a superb counter attack, but Alex Neil’s side couldn’t quite hang on as Eddie Nketiah headed home a late equaliser for Leeds.
Losing another late goal will have been a major disappointment, but Preston battled well and made sure they didn’t lose again, having slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Reading last weekend.
There were a number of strong displays, with Darnell Fisher, Ben Davies, Joe Rafferty and Tom Barkhuizen particularly impressive. Others weren’t quite on top form, and one player has received plenty of criticism.
Midfield Brad Potts hasn’t got any sort of consistency going this season, or really since his injury in March. Complications with his knee injury over the summer disrupted his pre-season preparations, and the form of other players has kept him out of the side.
On Tuesday though, Potts was called upon to start against Leeds. The 24-year-old was mostly tasked with tracking left back Ezgjan Alioski, which impacted his own attacking play.
Yet when he did get opportunities, Potts didn’t really show any kind of sharpness, though did go close with a late header. As Alex Neil’s second-biggest signing at £1.5m (Sheffield Star), there is plenty of expectation on Potts.
Added into that is just how impressive he was when he first arrived, and he’s still striving to hit those levels again. After a mixed display against Leeds, fans were divided on the midfielder.
Some appreciated all the work Potts was doing off the ball, and believe the attacking returns will come soon. Others simply feel the criticism is over the top at the moment, and deserves backing after a tricky start to the season.
Potts was slammed by some though, believing he simply isn’t good enough and offers little. There’s a feeling with some fans that Potts is lazy and uninterested, so much so that they don’t want to see him again any time soon.
In a long season, Potts will play his role, but much like Daniel Johnson and Tom Barkhuizen in the past, it looks like he’ll have to prove some doubters wrong.
Tactically thought Potts was spot on last night. Lacking confidence/ sharpness but his running stats will be up there. He was sacrificed to screen narrow/ then press their FB and cover Fisher when they had 2v2s wide. Did well imo. New scapegoat. #pnefc https://t.co/NMrqTFkm5b
— oli (@gorn__) October 23, 2019
Totally agree with this, he might not be firing but his work rate last night especially in the 2nd half was fantastic. Hopefully he can grab a goal and get some confidence to go with it.
— Steve Ward (@WardyPne) October 23, 2019
Agree. First half inpartucular he was superb at pressing and harrying their back line.
Second half he was most unfortunate not to score twice.
A strong performance from Mr Potts.
— The Chap (@ChapTowers) October 23, 2019
Said this walking off the game last night. Many are oblivious to the work off the ball.
— Filthy Index (@FilthyIndex) October 23, 2019
Those having a go at potts clearly don’t know much about football. Half our fan base is absolutely clueless #pnefc
— Tom Coulston (@tom_coulston) October 23, 2019
Thought Brad Potts worked hard and was unlucky not nick it at the end. He’s obviously up to speed yet but certainly doesn’t deserve the slagging off he’s getting on here. Very good player imo #pnefc
— Kerry Francis (@pnefctom17) October 23, 2019
Potts shouldn’t be anywhere near the team on Saturday! He’s shocking! He just strolls around like he can’t be bothered! #pnefc
— Gareth Livesey (@GarethLivesey95) October 22, 2019
Don’t want to see Potts in that shirt for the rest of the season. Uninterested, lazy and offers nothing #pnefc
— j (@prestonjord) October 22, 2019
The further Potts is away from the starting 11 the better #pnefc
— Karl Seager-Harris (@kseagerharris) October 22, 2019
Get potts off, offers very little. #pnefc
— Andy Nichol (@andy_nichol) October 22, 2019
The sooner Potts is out of my clab. The better. #PNEFC
— grogan6 (@grogan6) October 22, 2019
I just don’t get Brad Potts, I haven’t seen a single good thing from him, am I missing something?? #pnefc
— scotty (@Terrythepin) October 22, 2019
Potts isn’t good enough simple as that #pnefc
— tom (@tommeh98) October 22, 2019