Marnick wants magic touch from PNE

Marnick Vermijl battles with Bolton Wanderers' Darren Pratley
Marnick Vermijl battles with Bolton Wanderers' Darren Pratley
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Marnick Vermijl believes Preston North End need a touch more luck or a bit of magic going forward, in order to turn their draws into victories.

Saturday’s goalless draw with Bolton Wanderers at Deepdale was their third stalemate in four games.

While on the plus side it meant they are unbeaten since the last international break and edged them up a place in the table, sharing the spoils with Bolton was seen as a missed opportunity to get a first home league win.

The visitors had arrived along the M61 as the division’s bottom club and without an away win this season.

But North End could not find a way to break them down and the 0-0 draw left a sense of frustration among the home fans in a 14,494 crowd – the second highest of the term.

Vermijl, who started his third game on the bounce at right wing-back, told the Evening Post: “Maybe we need a bit of luck sometimes to get that ball over the line – a goal out of nothing, just something to get us going.

“Or it could be something a bit special which is needed, like the goals we scored away at Charlton recently.

“If we had beaten Bolton, it would have moved us a few more places.

“We did move up one place and I think we are going in the right direction.

“It is four clean sheets in a row now, which is very good in a difficult league.

“But we do need to find a way of winning at home and hopefully that can come on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest.”

The clash with Bolton was frantic and scrappy, what it lacked was any real quality.

It was a game bossed by the two defences, with both sets of strikers having to feed off scraps.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between, with neither goalkeeper overworked.

There was an argument for both sides going down to 10 men in the first half.

Calum Woods was booked for a foul on Max Clayton as he broke through on goal.

Then Darren Pratley got the same colour of card for a crude challenge on Bailey Wright.

Said Vermijl: “I heard the referee speak to Calum and he was saying he didn’t think there was enough for a red card.

“Some referees would have seen it differently but there were other challenges which some referees would have 
given a different card for.

“I thought that the referee handled it well.”

While the need for goals and a home win is a pressing one, North End’s solidity at the back has been impressive.

Preston manager Simon Grayson again went with the 3-5-2 which had served them well at Charlton Athletic and Brighton.

It might be that against Forest, there is a move to a back four in a quest for goals.

Vermijl said: “Playing the wing-back system has suited us well.

“For the attacking part of the game, we have to get 
Adam Reach and myself doing the whole line.

“If we lose the ball, we can go to a five-man defence, which is hard to break down.

“We have kept a few clean sheets now and if you do that, you always give yourself a chance of winning.

“On Saturday we couldn’t get the goal at the other end but at least we got a point.

“Every point is hard earned in the Championship and it could turn out to be a vital one at the end of the season.”