Simon Grayson is impressed with the way Jordan Hugill has taken his chance in the Preston forward line.
The striker netted his fifth goal of the campaign in the 2-2 draw with Brighton.
Four of those have come in the last six games and he has already matched his tally for the whole of last season.
Jermaine Beckford’s injury and the sale of Joe Garner have provided Hugill with the chance to get an extended run in the side.
North End boss Grayson told the Evening Post: “Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk will have realised they had been in a game on Saturday because of the way Jordan played.
“It was through his sheer determination and work-rate that he got the goal.
“He closed down David Stockdale and when he got the ball, finished it well.
“Sometimes when players get into those positions, their eyes open up and they can get carried away.
“Jordan showed composure though, I’m delighted for the kid because he’s working hard.
“Something I often say to the players here is that when an opportunity to play in the team comes along, make sure you take it.
“With Jordan, he saw that opportunity when Joe Garner left and, more recently, with Jermaine being injured.
“He gave himself a chance by working on his game, by studying other players and working out what his strengths and weaknesses are.
“Pure enthusiasm has taken him a long way and he does not look out of place in the Championship.
“He has scored goals, his hold-up play is good and long may that continue.
“Right at the end of the Brighton game, he won us a free-kick in a dangerous area.
“That game-management is an aspect of his play which has improved too.”
Hugill spent the majority of the first month of the season on the bench – his one start saw him score in the League Cup win over Oldham.
The 24-year-old has started the last six Championship games, finding the net against Cardiff, Wigan, Aston Villa and Brighton.
He is set to lead the line in tomorrow night’s clash with Huddersfield Town at Deepdale.
Missing from that game will be John Welsh, who was injured in the latter stages of the Brighton game.
The midfielder strained a calf muscle and Grayson is waiting to see how long he will be sidelined for.
“It is a bit early to say how long he will definitely be out for, but John will miss the Huddersfield game and probably Norwich at the weekend,” said Grayson.
“We will see where we are with him once the injury has settled down and been fully assessed.”
PNE have Greg Cunningham available for tomorrow – he missed the Brighton game because of a one-match suspension.