Luck is not with PNE striker Joe

Joe Garner
Joe Garner
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Preston North End striker Joe Garner admits every striker feels pressure to score as his barren spell continues.

Garner bagged 27 goals in North End’s League One promotion campaign but is yet to open his account this term.

The football gods were against the hitman as he rattled the post, and banged his head, as he tried in vain to make the back of the net ripple in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against Derby at Deepdale.

Garner hopes his luck will change but is convinced once he gets that all important first goal, the floodgates will open.

He said: “I think there is always pressure as a striker to score goals. It is part and parcel of it.

“I will keep working hard, keep putting myself in there and hopefully a bit of luck will change.

“I’ve had chances, I’m going to keep putting myself in positions to score goals. I’ve scored goals in the past. Once I get one I will hit the ground running.

“I had a shot that hit the inside of the post and the keeper picked it up off the line, on another day that goes in but that is football.

“We go again Tuesday and hopefully we can get a good result.”

Garner clashed heads with Derby captain Chris Baird and the aerial collision floored both players.

Garner was sitting upright within minutes but Baird had to be stretchered off and was taken to hospital leaving Derby down to 10 men.

Garner, who was not knocked unconscious, shrugged off the bang and assured everybody he felt fine. He said: “I don’t really know what happened. It all happened so quickly.

“The cross came in, he’s gone to defend it, I’ve gone to head it in the back of the net and we have just clashed heads.

“He’s a tough player himself and I’m sure that he will be fine. I’m fine, I was more concerned about him to be honest.

“I know a few of the lads at Derby so I saw them after the game they said he is alright, he’s conscious and sitting up. He’s alright, so that is good.”

Garner admitted he was frustrated by the defeat and is relishing the fight for a starting spot after new striker’s Stevie May and Eoin Doyle came off the bench to make their North End debuts.

The trio linked up well in the closing stages as Daniel Johnson curled a consolation goal home after Chris Martin’s two first half goals gave Derby the advantage.

Garner says North End need to take their chances.

He said: “Any game that you lose is obviously frustrating.

“We have got players out there who can create chances, it is our job to put them away.

“I think the more strikers you have, the more competition you have which is better for everyone around. It is good to have competition.

“They have both been very good in training.

“We have options up there now and I’m sure the gaffer will set us up on Tuesday to go out and win the game.”