PNE striker’s aiming high

Eoin Doyle scores for Preston in the  win against Rotherham
Eoin Doyle scores for Preston in the win against Rotherham
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Simon Grayson says there is a lot more to come from Eoin Doyle after the striker made a goalscoring return to the Preston North End side.

Doyle netted only his second PNE goal in the 2-1 win against Rotherham on Saturday.

He flicked the ball over the line from close range to pull the Lilywhites level, an own goal in stoppage time going on to deliver the victory.

North End boss Grayson was pleased to see the Irishman on the scoresheet after restoring him to the starting XI in place of Will Keane, who had been recalled by Manchester United.

“That was trademark Eoin, sniffing in the box for half a chance,” Grayson told the Evening Post.“He took his opportunity coming back into the side and I thought he did okay.

“For the last few weeks, Eoin had not been in the team because Will Keane had come in and looked sharp.

“I think his all-round game needs to be a little bit sharper but in his defence, he had not played much competitive football in the past month.

“The more Eoin plays, the sharper he will get and the goal against Rotherham will have done his confidence the world of good.

“Hopefully there are plenty more of those to follow.”

Until the weekend, Doyle’s last start had been at Fulham on November 28.

Keane replaced him for the following game at Burnley and stayed in until his surprise returned to Old Trafford. In the meantime, Doyle had played just 21 minutes of football as a substitute against Leeds and Huddersfield.

Against Rotherham, Doyle started on the right-hand side of a front three.

The 27-year-old looked more at home when he moved into a more central role next to Joe Garner in the second half.

Grayson wants to bring in more competition along the front line this month.

Keane’s recall coupled with the loss to injury of Stevie May and Chris Humphrey, has reduced the options up front and on the right wing.

Jordan Hugill was the only striker on the bench at the weekend.

Since the transfer window opened on Saturday, North End have been linked with a host of players.

Manchester United striker Nick Powell was reported as a strong target.

However, it is understood to be more a case of PNE being among a handful of clubs who have been approached by United about taking the 21-year-old on loan.

As it stands, Powell’s wages – or just a contribution to them – would be on the expensive side for North End.

In terms of outgoing deals, Andy Little is likely to extend his loan stay at Blackpool until the end of January.

Kyel Reid is also set for a longer stay at Bradford after spending the last three months on loan there.

Both players are out of contract in the summer.