Goals are within Reach for PNE loan star Adam

Adam Reach
Adam Reach
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Adam Reach felt that only a goal was missing from what was widely regarded as his best performance in a Preston North End shirt against Reading on Saturday.

It was not for the lack of trying that the 22-year-old did not find the back of the net, with him hitting the inside of the post early in the contest and then being denied by a double save after half-time.

He could console himself with an eye-catching display though, PNE manager Simon Grayson having given him licence to roam along the forward line in the 1-0 victory.

It is a level of performance which Reach is aiming to hit again when the Lilywhites host Birmingham City on Tuesday night at Deepdale.

Reach said: “I attacked a lot on Saturday and had some more shots on goal.

“I came mighty close to scoring – I was almost starting to celebrate when the shot hit the post – and will keep banging on the door in the games to come to try and get on the scoresheet.

“Hopefully I will get a goal soon but the most important thing on Saturday was that we got the three points.

“I’ve got to agree that it was my best performance for Preston.

“As my loan spell has gone on, my performances have grown and I want to play even better against Birmingham.

“On Saturday, myself and Will Keane had the licence to swap wings when we wanted.

“It was nice to have that freedom and I thought it worked really well.”

Although a first PNE goal still eludes him, Reach is delighted that Joe Garner has got himself going.

It was Garner’s penalty which delivered victory against Reading, that his third goal in four games having previously failed to hit the target.

“Everyone in the squad is delighted to see Joe back among the goals,” said Reach.

“He worked extremely hard in the Reading game and I thought he was outstanding against two centre-halves who have played in the Premier League.

“At times Joe bullied them and which he has to do because defenders don’t give him an easy time either.

“Joe is an outstanding player, he brings the ball down well, flicks things on, brings others into play and of course, is a good finisher.

“Hopefully there will be a lot more goals to come from him over the coming games.”

Victory at the weekend was North End’s second on the bounce, the first time they have done that since returning to the Championship.

The focus turns to securing a third win when Birmingham pay their first visit here for seven years.

Gary Rowett’s side travel to Lancashire with a decent away record, having won five and drawn three of their 10 games on the road this term.

Arguably, their better displays have come on the road.

The Blues are two points off the play-off places, although a victory for PNE would take them within two points of the St Andrews’ outfit.

At the weekend, they held Middlesbrough – Reach’s parent club – to a goalless draw at the Riverside Stadium.

“We are expecting a tough game against Birmingham,” said Reach.

“I wanted the highlights of their 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough and they had some good chances to win it.

“They will come here with similar aims, to defend well and maybe get a goal on the break.

“But if we play anywhere near as well as we did against Reading, we should do okay.

“The important thing is to score goals, if we get a spell of pressure, we need to take advantage of that.

“We having been defending well in whatever formation we have played, whether that has been three or four at the back, so we just need to add a few more goals to that.”

Reach’s loan spell runs out over Christmas, the player not yet knowing what will happen to him in January.

North End and Boro have had talks about a possible extension to his stay although nothing has yet been agreed.

To date, he has been an ever present since booking in at Deepdale, starting 12 games.

Reach said: “I’m enjoying being here and when you go out on loan, you are looking to get game-time.

“I’ve had that here, played in all the games which is what I wanted to do.

“There are a few more games of my loan spell left and it would be nice to play all of them and do well.

“I don’t know what is going to be happening in January.

“There are conversations going on between the clubs and I will just concentrate on playing the games which fall in the rest of the loan.

“The decision on what happens next is in the hands of Middlesbrough.

“If they feel I can go back there and help then, fine.

“However, if they want me to stay at Preston, I’d be happy to do that. This is where I’ve been for much of the first-half of the season, so I’m comfortable and would be happy to return.

“I’ve still got a few games of the loan to go yet, so I will see what happens.”