Alex Neil on where the key areas for goals are for Preston North End
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There has been much focus on the Lilywhites’ lack of goals up front, with none of the out-and-out strikers having been free-scoring.
The bulk of goals have come from those who play off, and wide of, the main striker.
PNE’s top league scorer is Daniel Johnson who netted his 11th goal of the season in the 3-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.
Six of his goals, including against QPR last Saturday, have come from the penalty spot.
Tom Barkhuizen has nine Championship goals and 11 overall, having netted twice at Bradford in the League Cup earlier in the campaign.
Paul Gallagher has struck six times, four of those being penalties,
Of Josh Harrop’s eight goals, five of those have come in league action, while Alan Browne and Sean Maguire have pitched in with four.
Jayden Stockley, Patrick Bauer and Billy Bodin have scored two apiece in league matches.
PNE manager Alex Neil said: “We’ve spoken about Sean Maguire not scoring but you could argue that right across our No.9s.
“Most of our goals have come from the middle of the park – DJ has 11, Tom Barkhuizen has similar.
“Gally has a few, Josh Harrop has pitched in with five in the league, Alan Browne has four.”
It could well be that North End’s style of play lends itself to the striker being more of a player for others to feed off.
Maguire’s four goals have come when he has played off the left.
Neil has used Barkhuizen as both a winger and striker this season, his goals coming in both of those roles.
Nugent and Stockley have played as out-and-put strikers, so too Louis Moult who scored once before his season was ended in August but a torn cruciate ligament.
Interestingly, Bodin started one game as striker in the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest in August.
Bodin scored at the City Ground before reverting back to a role on the wing in the next game.
North End hit the road this weekend, making the trip to Kenilworth Road to face Luton.
They beat the Hatters 2-1 at home in December, Gallagher and Stockley on target.