Alex Neil says new signing Scott Sinclair can spark goal rush for Preston North End

Alex Neil wants Scott Sinclair’s arrival at Deepdale to be the catalyst for Preston getting back on the goals trail.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 6:00 am
Preston new boy Scott Sinclair is set to make his debut against Blackburn tomorrow (photo: PNE)

PNE take on Blackburn at Ewood Park tomorrow (3pm) having failed to score in seven of their last 10 Championship matches.

New boy Sinclair will be in the squad which heads along the M65 and he will have plenty resting on his shoulders.

With 117 career goals to his name and fresh from three years with Celtic, where he scored freely, much is expected of him.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

North End manager Neil said: “There has been a lack of goals recently.

“Although we have quite a lot of options going forward we need a few guys to step up to the plate and start putting the ball in the net.

“Our leading scorer is still Daniel Johnson who has been missing with injury for the last seven games. We certainly need a bit of quality to help us get some goals.”

Sinclair, 30, trained with the squad for the first time yesterday having completed his move from Celtic late on Wednesday night.

Neil is happy to use him anywhere across the front line, although his favoured position is coming inside off the left wing.

During talks ahead of his move, Sinclair’s attitude and desire impressed Neil.

“Any player coming here has to want to come here,” Neil said.

“If someone was to come here thinking they were doing us a favour, there is no point.

“Scott is coming here to try and help us, try and further his career by achieving something on top of the stuff he has already done.

“That is the right attitude to have and to get his calibre of player here is excellent.”

If Neil thinks Sinclair’s levels of sharpness are right, he will not be afraid to throw him straight in at Blackburn.

He was limited to seven games at Celtic this season.

Said Neil: “It’s a good and a bad thing that Scott hasn’t had much game time. It’s good that he is fresh but not so good that he is not match-sharp, having not played as many minutes to get him up to speed.

“Naturally it will take him a little bit of time to get there but if you look at him he is a specimen, very athletic and very quick.”

Neil is looking forward to facing Blackburn in what he thinks will be an extremely competitive derby clash.

“These are the games you really don’t want to lose,” said Neil.

“It is a derby game and it means so much to fans. If you are playing Blackburn and playing someone else, you want to beat Blackburn more.

“It’s three points but those mean more to fans in a derby.

“We will be up for this one and Blackburn will be.”