Phil Brown is quietly confident that he can mould ‘his’ Preston North End team ahead of the start of the season.
It’s been a frustratingly slow summer in terms of incoming transfer deals at Deepdale, with Clarke Carlisle’s arrival from Burnley on a season-long loan the only signing to date.
The only other new faces have been trialists, with Joe Mills, Alex Cooper, Brian McLean and David Lucas having been training with Brown’s squad.
Movement out of North End has been greater, Sean St Ledger having been sold to Leicester, Paul Hayes joined Charlton after reaching a settlement over his contract, while Chris Brown, Neal Trotman, Wayne Brown, Neil Dougan and Sam Hart were released.
And the club have yet to be able to offer new terms to Darren Carter, who reached the end of his contract last month and has been training with PNE.
Mills and Cooper look to be in competition to fill the left-back slot, although with no senior left-back at the club, it could be argued there are two vacancies – one as back-up for the other.
The goalkeeping situation still needs resolving, while ideally, Brown would like another striker to supplement Iain Hume, Neil Mellor and Jamie Proctor.
Brown told the Evening Post: “This is my first pre-season here and it’s all about getting my teeth into the team and getting my own team out there.
“I just want to get my own team on the pitch but the transfer market has been a little bit slow this summer.
“I’ve been listening to my chairman, as to what he has to say about the financial state of play in football in general. There are a minority of clubs spending money, the majority of us are looking around at free transfers and affordable assets.
“Nothing would give me greater pleasure then to improve the changing room – improve what we already have in there.
“It would be great to put more on the table for the benefit of the players here and for the supporters.
“We are working behind the scenes to improve the situation and there is a lot of work to be done in between now and August 6.
“It’s about piecing that jigsaw together and I think the picture on the jigsaw will become clearer come the first week of August.”
North End’s pre-season continued last night with a 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, when Neil Mellor netted an equaliser in the second half.
Meanwhile, PNE have put half-season tickets on sale for fans who aren’t able to commit to buying a full season ticket.
The club have divided the campaign into ‘black and white’ sections to link in with Preston’s two new kits this term.
The ‘black’ half-season tickets start from the campaign’s opener against Colchester through to the Boxing Day clash against Carlisle United – they went on sale yesterday.
And the ‘white’ tickets start with the visit of Sheffield Wednesday to Deepdale on New Year’s Eve, running through to the final home game of the regular season against Charlton on April 28.
Prices start at £149 for an adult ticket, with juniors charged just £39 for all sections of the ground.