Alex Neil hopes Preston North End get a sense of deja vu at Loftus Road

Preston will be looking for tomorrow’s away day at Queens Park Rangers to jolt their results back into life as it did last season.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 6:00 am
Preston striker David Nugent scored his first PNE goal against tomorrow's opponents QPR 14 years ago

Alex Neil takes his side to West London on the back of three successive defeats.

Last season’s trip to Loftus Road saw them triumph 4-1, the start of six away wins on the bounce.

It was the second game of a 12-match unbeaten run which carried them up the table.

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PNE manager Neil hopes this visit can spark similar good fortune.

Neil said: “Last season’s game at QPR was a big turning point for us.

“It was a game we really needed to win and it was one which kick-started us.

“We put in a really good performance and went on to have that great run of wins away from home.”

Although PNE have not taken a point or scored a goal since the international break, Neil is not too disheartened.

He saw lots to encourage him in Monday’s defeat to West Bromwich Albion, so too in the second half at Derby a fortnight ago.

In between, though, was that pretty dreadful night at Hull when they lost 4-0.

Said Neil: “We had the Hull game where we were really poor and a half at Derby when we didn’t do well enough but rectified that with a better second half.

“We played well against West Bromwich so it’s not all doom and gloom.

“A t the start of the season if people had been talking about us being sixth now, we would have taken it, a hundred per cent.

“We need to have a little bit of perspective at times as to where we are. The lads need to realise that we have lots to play for and we are going well.

“At Derby, Tom Barkhuizen had a goal disallowed which, watching it back, wasn’t offside. Then there was the penalty decision on Monday which cost us a point.

“Had we taken two points out of those games we would be sat in fourth and the mood would be different.”

It is back to where it all started tomorrow for David Nugent in terms of PNE goals.

His first one for Preston came at QPR in February 2005 and many more followed.

With North End not having found the net since beating Huddersfield, Neil might be tempted to change things round up front.

Josh Harrop is pushing for a start after two appearances from the bench, while Billy Bodin is another option to change it along the frontline.

Neil will do a head count of defenders after the recent spate of injuries which have hit the backline.

The Lilywhites will be well supported in the capital as ever, with their 1,245 allocation in the School Lane end close to selling out.