PNE striker aims to finish season in style

Eoin Doyles goal for PNE at Bolton came on his birthday
Eoin Doyles goal for PNE at Bolton came on his birthday
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Eoin Doyle wants to make the most of Preston North End’s last nine games after admitting his loan spell at Deepdale had not gone to plan in the main.

The striker’s goal at Bolton on his 28th birthday a week ago was only the third for him in a PNE jersey.

Doyle has started 13 games and come off the bench 10 times since joining from Cardiff City on a season’s loan in September.

It was as a substitute that he made his impact against Bolton with the winning goal late in the game.

“Maybe the loan has not gone as well as I would have liked it to go,” Doyle told the Evening Post.

“The team has been doing very well so I have no complaints about not starting.

“I have had my chances and did not really produce early on in the season.

“All I can do is play my best for the remaining nine games and see how it goes.

“It was nice to get the goal at Bolton and hopefully there are a few more to come yet.

“I should have had another last week but it got ruled out for offside.

“I’ve watched it back 100 times since and I was definitely onside, it was disappointing to see the linesman’s flag go up.”

The goal Doyle did get last week is one he has yet to get full credit for.

He got the decisive touch to a Marnick Vermijl shot which took it past the keeper and a covering defender.

Vermijl was credited with the goal by Bolton’s stadium announcer and the Press Association who provide goal and statistical information to the media. The Football League have a dubious goals committee who meet when requested to.

Said Doyle: “It was my goal, no doubt about it, the ball came off my shin.

“I get judged on goals like that so I have to make sure I get awarded it.

“Marnick did well for me, putting the ball across and I stuck my leg out at it.

“The goal was typical me really, I can’t remember scoring too many from outside the box in my career.

“It was nice to get the goal on my birthday and it was good that it was the winner.”

Doyle has not been alone in his struggle for goals, with the other Preston strikers experiencing similar.

Joe Garner has netted five goals this season, with Jordan Hugill getting off the mark in the league at Bolton.

Stevie May – signed on the same day as Doyle – did not score before suffering a knee injury in November which ended his season.

Said Doyle: “What can help strikers is to get among the goals in the early part of the season but that did not happen for any of us.

“I think it was November before a striker scored for the club in the league.

“It is one of those strange things but fortunately the lads have been chipping in with goals from other areas, while the defence has been very solid to keep the goals out.

“You have to keep working and things will change.”