Exclusive Sean Gregan PNE column

Joe Garner holds his head in his hands after seeing a far post header tipped over the bar in PNE's FA Cup defeat to Peterborough
Joe Garner holds his head in his hands after seeing a far post header tipped over the bar in PNE's FA Cup defeat to Peterborough
Have your say

Although Preston did not put in the best of displays in their FA Cup defeat against Peterborough, they looked to have created enough chances to get something from it.

It highlighted the need to try and find a goalscorer in the January window, but then how many clubs are saying the same?

Eoin Doyle missed a couple of one-on-ones and maybe that highlights the difficulty of a striker coming back into the side after missing a few games.

The Rotherham game the week before was his first start in a few weeks and it can take a lot of players a run of five or six matches to really find their touch and sharpness.

North End won’t be the only club looking to sign a goalscorer this month.

The January window can be a difficult one to find the right quality at the right price.

There might only be a handful of strikers who clubs are prepared to sell and when you have a lot of interest, the price shoots up.

Look at the case of Nick Blackman who Derby signed last week from Reading.

Sheffield Wednesday had been interested and then in came Derby.

He got that move from a burst of goals earlier in the season but, recently, had found them harder to come by.

However, clubs see that someone has had a scoring run at one stage and are happy to take the gamble that they can do it for them.

Looking at North End’s exit from the cup, Peterborough were always going to be tough opponents.

They are strong at home and score a lot of goals, albeit in League One.

The fact Graham Westley is their manager was probably more something for the fans to concern themselves with rather than the players.

There are not too many players left at Deepdale from when Westley was manager.

It would have been nice to have put one over on him but the biggest disappointment was nothing to do with that, it was the fact North End are not in the fourth-round draw.

Who knows, a big club in the next round could have earned more money to go and strengthen the squad.

With a couple of sensible additions, I think Preston can finish comfortably.

They have shown that they can string together some good form and tend to bounce back well from results which are disappointing.

Steadily the squad has been strengthened and a couple of new additions now might just be at the right time.

A good result at Bristol City on Tuesday night would be a big boost, both in terms of league points and putting the Peterborough defeat behind them – to put further distance between themselves and the Robins would be wonderful.

Then it is off to Ipswich next weekend, so there is a lot of travelling to be done.

Moving on to a wider topic, the race for the Premier League title is an open one.

The league took a back seat over the weekend while the FA Cup took centre stage but it is back with a full programme of midweek fixtures.

Although it is refreshing to see Leicester right up there, it is boiling down to a straight race between Manchester City and Arsenal for me.

When without Vincent Kompany, I think City are a totally different team.

Get him back regularly and it is City in pole position.

Arsenal have impressed me, bar the odd performance.

They do seem to have a harder edge this time and are perhaps willing to win games 1-0 with a stubborn display.

Petr Cech has been a great signing for them.