Preston North End kept up their unbeaten start to the Championship season with a 0-0 draw at home to Rotherham United, yet they will be wondering how they weren’t able to find the back of the net.

North End could have been a goal up within the first few minutes and in the second half it was a relentless onslaught from Ryan Lowe’s side, hitting the bar, the post and everything but the back of the net.

Six points from four games isn’t a bad start but it could so easily have been the maximum 12 points so far.

Parrott has everything in his game but goals at the moment

Troy Parrott led the line on his own on Tuesday night with Emil Riis having to settle for a place on the bench for the second game running.


The on-loan Tottenham Hotspur striker started the game superbly, being involved in every attack. His direct running cause problems for Rotherham’s defence, and within the first few minutes, he ran down the middle and provided Daniel Johnson with a chance he would score nine times out of ten. DJ dragged his shot wide, and it was a sign of things to come.

Parrott is keen to get the ball, and was often coming out wide to get it. That then left minimal options in the middle for him to play the ball into.

He was presented with his own chance later in the first half though. Alan Browne won the ball high up the pitch and played it through to Parrott, who had time to take a touch in the box, all alone before setting himself up for a shot. His shot was tame though, and straight at Viktor Johansson.

Parrott is doing everything but score. Aside from his goal in the Carabao Cup against Huddersfield Town which was an easy finish following a parried shot, Parrott has missed glorious chances in all three league games that have ended 0-0.

The Irishman doesn’t seem to have the confidence when it comes to scoring. He’s a very unselfish striker, which isn’t the worst thing as it brings others into the game and he is creating chances too.

But when the team is struggling to score we need him to start scoring, especially if Lowe persists with leaving last season’s 20-goal striker Emil Riis on the bench.

Preston North End v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Six points could easily be 12

The Republic of Ireland striker clearly has a lot of talent but it is a similar situation to the one we had with Lukas Nmecha in the 2018/19 season at the moment; he was raw but it was obvious he would go on to have a great career.

Nmecha never found his scoring boots with North End but is now a full international for Germany and the main striker for Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.

However with Nmecha, there were goals elsewhere in the team, and it was a season where Alan Browne hit 12 goals in the Championship.

Right now Preston have only scored one goal in four Championship games, and it was a wonder goal from Brad Potts.

We’ve drawn blanks against two promoted teams, and also Hull City at home. Watford will be a much sterner test on Saturday and if some bad results do follow, we will be looking back at these opening games as missed opportunities.

Quite simply, if we still had Cameron Archer at the club, I think we would be top of the league right now.

McCann dropped already?

Ali McCann is a fan favourite, and there is always a clamour for him to be in the starting lineup.

McCann scored two goals on his first start of the season in the cup, and then kept his place for the battling, and thus far only win in the league against Luton Town.

However on Tuesday he was back on the bench, and it seemed rather unfair. Ryan Lowe chose to play one up front, with four central midfielders behind. Ryan Ledson and Ben Whiteman sat deep whilst Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson played in the number 10 roles. The latter two were a bit sloppy in the first half, but started creating more in the second half with some slick passing, and running into space.

I don’t envy Lowe with the decisions he has to make with that midfield. There’s always going to be at least one of those missing out, and it impacts the choices up front as well, as Emil Riis has discovered.

McCann has never really had a consistent run in the side since his arrival from St Johnstone 12 months ago. Ali started the last seven games of Frankie McAvoy’s tenure, and the first of Lowe’s. Those eight games have been his longest run in the side. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few Scottish clubs come sniffing in January and try and tempt him back north of the border.

Preston North End v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Hughes and Brady linking up superbly

Andrew Hughes has become a key defender for Preston. He doesn’t put a foot wrong, and is perfect for the left sided centre back role. Great in the air, enough pace to track back and catch attackers, and also keen to get forward. He is a real asset for us and it’s good to see his partnership with Robbie Brady continue to develop.

Brady looks to be a coup on a free transfer, and we are already utilising him as much as possible during the game. Deep crosses rather than byline ones aren’t quite working yet, but he is an intelligent player, and Hughes quite often provides the overlap for him which in turn can provide space for Brady. It looks to be a good combination down the left side, and with Alvaro Fernandez still to return from his injury I suspect we will get a lot of success from that side of the pitch.

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