Preston’s 2-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers has left Alex Neil with plenty to think about.
North End went into the game off the back of three straight defeats, and sadly made it four. Eberechi Eze fired home the opener at the second time of asking, before the playmaker stepped up from the penalty spot to make it 2-0 in the second half.
It’s another game without a goal for North End, making it four in a row now. Eight goals conceded in that run, no points, a lengthening injury list and a major gap to the top two; it’s all gone downhill since the international break.
There is at least a chance to try and put it right on Tuesday, with Preston taking on Fulham. Neil will hope for some injured players to return, but he’ll have other selection qualms too.
Of course, the key area to improve is in attack. Preston have gone from being the Championship’s top goalscorers to no goals in a month. The current front three of Tom Barkhuizen, Seani Maguire and Jayden Stockley isn’t quite firing at the moment, and fans have been left frustrated by Maguire.
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The striker has been converted into a left-sided winger this season, taking Callum Robinson’s spot. The Irishman has chipped in with three goals and two assists this season, but hasn’t made a goal contribution since the 26th of October against Blackburn Rovers.
Some displays have been frustrating, running down blind alleys and not picking his head up in the final third. On Saturday, fans seemed to have seen enough from the 25-year-old former West Ham youngster.
Fans called for Maguire and teammate Brad Potts to be dropped from the starting line-up for the game against Fulham, believing that Maguire needs time out of the team now having started so regularly in recent times, and highlighted that he hasn’t really contributed a great deal since returning from international with Ireland.