Each player will settle in differently says PNE boss Alex Neil

Alex Neil admits there is no telling how long it will take the new PNE players to settle in, as each will do so at their own pace.

By Tom Sandells
Thursday, 11th February 2021, 8:00 am

North End were very active in the January transfer market, bringing in eight players, going right down to the wire with their final few.

Some players arrived fairly early on in the window, with Jayson Molumby, Ben Whiteman and Daniel Iversen alr eady having several games under their belts at this point.

For Anthony Gordon, Liam Lindsay and Sepp van den Berg, who all arrived on the final day of the window, it has been straight into the thick of it.

Alex Neil (right) and Steve Thomspon (left) during PNE's loss to Rotherham United.

Neil feels his side are adapting to the new core of their side, after there were eight outgoings last month.

He said: “You’ve got to work on an individual basis. Because a lot of changes have happened in one area of the pitch, it makes it more difficult.

“People will talk and you’ll hear cliches in football all the time about the spine of your team.

“Unfortunately for us the spine of our team has significantly shifted in one window.

“It’s become a lot different to what it was before. Not only have we lost the likes of Ben Davies and Ben Pearson, who were regulars for us, we’ve also lost Patrick Bauer, we’ve also lost Declan Rudd (both to injury), we’ve also lost Darnell Fisher.

“When that is no longer there, to expect these new lads coming in who have had such a short period at the club to go in and perform anywhere near where the lads, in this moment, I think that’s unfair on them.”

Giving the new men time is the key for the Scot, who wants to see them settle in and learn his style and system.

Time, however, is of the essence as the Lilywhites push for the play-offs.

He said: “We’re getting there, slowly but surely. We need to give these lads a bit of time, I’ve stressed that, and I don’t think there is any question that they’ll get better.

“However, they haven’t got time, if we’re being brutally honest. The next games are coming and we need to try and win them. It’s not easy.

“It’s difficult for them and it’s difficult for me.

“There are little moments in a game where you might know what he is going to do so you cover, that could be the difference between not conceding a goal and conceding a goal.

“Those are the margins we work with at this level.”

“It will take each individual different amounts of time but if you can get a few wins on the board, that will quickly speed things up.

“Confidence grows and it’s just a better feeling, it all snowballs from there.

“We need to try and get that winning feeling as quick as possible with these players in the team.”

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