Sean Gregan’s exclusive column

Preston North End's Sean Maguire vies for possession with Middlesbrough's George Friend
Preston North End's Sean Maguire vies for possession with Middlesbrough's George Friend
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I think it’s fair to say Preston would have taken a point before the trip to the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

In my mind, any team that finishes above Middlesbrough is going to go up automatically.

It’s a great point and it’s all the better with a clean sheet.

Not many teams are going to go to Middlesbrough and get something.

They’ve spent about £30 million on forwards but Preston kept them quiet.

You look at the chances Preston had too and I think they’ll go away disappointed they haven’t picked up the three points.

It completed a good first month though for Alex Neil and his players.

They’ve had some tough fixtures and some difficult away games but they’ve shut up shop well.

They’ll be really pleased with the return from a gruelling start.

They just haven’t got the goals, that’s been the only problem.

Sometimes when a manager gets the video out after a game you look at all the bad things but Neil will be talking about the positives and the chances created on Saturday.

It’s an old cliche but the best form of attack is defence and that’s certainly been the new manager’s tactics.

To play a former Premier League team at their own ground like that will be really encouraging and if they keep playing like that the goals will come.

One man whose already got a few this season is Jordan Hugill and he continues to be the subject of plenty of transfer speculation.

Preston have stood firm so far but every player has his price and a daft offer might come in.

They will want to keep hold of him but if they can’t I’m sure they’ve got a replacement lined up.

You’ve seen some of the fees Championship players are going for. Sam Clucas has left Hull for Swansea for £15 million and Burnley paid the same for Chris Wood.

Preston have got to price him in that market.

It’s a fairytale story really. To come from non-league like he has and now be attracting the kind of offers he is.

Jordan is carrying himself well throughout it all when you look at Diego Costa and players like that who have spat their dummies out.

You’ve got two options. You either sulk or get on with it.

If you think of his background though he was holding down a job at one point and playing football and now he’s playing full-time in the Championship.

He’s enjoying his football and if they take the offer for him he goes and if not he’s at a good club like Preston.

Either way, we’ll know by Thursday night and then it’s on to the international break.

I was never a fan of them myself, I always just wanted to play, play, play.

If you’re on a good run of form too you don’t want the games to stop.

But if you’ve got a few injuries and things aren’t going so well then it can be a good thing. It all depends. I think Preston might have wanted to keep playing though.