After a 2-0 defeat in midweek against Alex Neil’s former team. A game where Preston continued to struggle in front of goal, the Lilywhites would have been hopeful to get their first goal and first point away from home when they came up against the Rams at Pride Park.
A familiar frustration for Alex Neil
Not only did the issues that North End have been facing on the pitch this campaign continue against Frank Lampard’s men, but the team news for the game against Derby informed the PNE fans that captain Tom Clarke and Alan Browne, who has had a scan on a potential hamstring injury today, were unavailable for the game alongside Callum Woods, Billy Bodin, Sean Maguire and Paul Gallagher, with five of those players potential starters if fit.
Alan Browne, who has been included in the Martin O’Neill’s provisional Ireland team for games against Wales and Poland, may miss further games depending on the results of the scan on Monday, which should be detailed before the Carabao Cup game against Leeds.
During the game Preston did not create an awful lot, with Robinson and Nmecha unable to take the opportunities that they had. Former PNE striker David Nugent slipped in Mason Mount shortly after who gave Derby the lead with an effort that Declan Rudd could have done a lot better with.
Going into half–time, North End needed their first goal away from home of this campaign to get anything out of the game, but perhaps unsurprisingly after recent performances, that goal did not come. In fact, the Rams doubled their lead 12 minutes from time, Richard Keogh’s header once more should have been stopped by Rudd as PNE lost 2-0 away from home for the second time in the space of four days.
Are reinforcements needed?
After a 7th placed finish last time out this defeat continued Preston’s poor start to the season, with the Lilywhites racking up just four points and sitting in 20th position at this early stage.
Many PNE fans are wanting another striker to be signed before the loan window closes at the end of the month, with North End failing to score from open play in the opening five league games, it would perhaps be unsurprising if Preston are trying to bring in another source of goals before the deadline.
As usual Alex Neil did not have much to say when asked after the Derby defeat whether they are looking at a potential incoming, suggesting they will have to ‘wait and see’.
With the likes of Nahki Wells signing for QPR in the past few days, it remains to be seen if North End will bring in another forward, or more importantly when the current set of players will start to perform in front of goal.
Hopefully this will start on Tuesday night when North End play Leeds United in the Carabao Cup – by the players who have something to prove to earn a spot in the starting XI.
However, due to injuries their may not be a completely different 11 from the game at Pride Park.