BBC’s Football Focus was recorded at Deepdale on Saturday, ahead of Preston facing Norwich City in the FA Cup.

Naturally, the Third Round clash meant plenty of focus on Alex Neil. The Scot managed the Canaries from 2015 to 2017, guiding them to the Premier League just months after his appointment.

Ironically, his appointment at Norwich came after a Third Round FA Cup defeat at Preston. Sadly, there was no repeat of that 2-0 win on Saturday, as Norwich ran out 4-2 winners against their former boss.

Preston players look dejected after Reading’s second goal in the recent 2-0 defeat. (Photo by Kevin Barnes – CameraSport via Getty Images)


Before the game though, Neil spoke about his hopes at Preston. Neil is of course aware of North End’s dip in form; having started November top of the league, Preston have now lost six of the last 10 games, scoring just five goals in that run.

At least North End did find the back of the net on Saturday, but Neil’s message before the game was clear; Preston must make signings this month.

Neil feels Preston need signings to lift the players and the fans for the second half of the season, and called for investment in the squad in order to compete against teams who are throwing money at a promotion bid.

Inside Deepdale as Norwich City beat Preston North End 4-2. (Photo by Tim Markland/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“I think we do need a bit of help, obviously,” said Neil. “We want to try and strengthen the squad if we can, because we’re competing against a lot of big teams, and a lot of those teams have flung a lot of money at it.”

“We’ve done it in a different manner; we’ve been patient, we’ve built the squad steadily, but I think sometimes an injection of fresh faces certainly helps, just to lift the players, lift the place, lift the fans, and give us that opportunity to hopefully try and kick into the second half of the season really well,” he added.