Alan Browne’s next challenge is to add more goals to his game, according to Preston North End boss Alex Neil.
The Republic of Ireland international has featured in all six games so far this season, making four starts in the Championship.
The 22-year-old has often been deployed as the most advanced of the central midfielders, with Alex Neil believing his energy is key to North End’s pressing, a feature of a promising first month under the new manager. On the attacking front Neil now thinks Browne should be looking to improve his goal return.
He has scored seven goals since arriving as a youngster from Cork City just over three-and-a-half years ago but did not find the back of the net once last season.
Browne, who signed a new three-year deal in the summer, passed 100 appearances for the club back in January and is becoming an increasingly key figure.
“I think he presses really well from the front,” said Neil.
“I think he’s got good energy to break off Jordan Hugill too.
“And the one thing that he does, and I was talking to him prior to the game at Middlesbrough, is show some fantastic finishing in training.
“He’s yet to really reproduce that in games though.
“That’s the next step for Browney to develop as a player. He has got two good feet. I don’t think he’s a builder of the game.
“I don’t think he’s a technician who takes it with his back to goal and builds the game.
“I think he’s great running on to things and using his energy and that’s what we’ve used him for, and he was great again on Saturday at Middlesbrough.”
Browne was named in the provisional 39-man party for Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Serbia but did not make the cut down to 25.
His one senior cap came off the bench against Mexico in New Jersey back in June.