Exciting signings are needed this month says Preston North End Fans’ Panel’s John Smith

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Seven days after his visit Santa was still in the mood for handing out presents at a snowy Deepdale, with his gift being that of a penalty to the opposition stupidly given away and allowed to stand despite looking like it had been hit twice.

What I found most frustrating about this loss was that it came against a side who had won only four out of their 22 previous league games, with the penalty being their only attempt on goal.

In the first half Alex Neil’s rigid 4-3-2-1 formation had produced nothing in the way of attack, but with Daniel Johnson being pushed further forward we had looked more lively up front in the second half being unlucky not to score having twice hit the bar.

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It was another game decided by fine margins and a win would have seen us just two points off the play-off positions instead of being mid-table at the league’s halfway stage.

Tom Barkhuizen after hitting the barTom Barkhuizen after hitting the bar
Tom Barkhuizen after hitting the bar

Chasing the Premier League dream has given many of our older fans a premature greying of hair around the temples.

In the last 50 years they have seen only seven lower-level league promotions and never reached the quarter-finals or even had a major giantkilling in the two major cup competitions.

I think this January’s transfer window sees us at the crossroads in terms of which direction our club will be heading for in.

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Many fans will be hugely disappointed that despite having a billionaire owner they will soon be seeing the likely departure of several key players.

While we must be grateful that our owner’s investments have kept the club solvent, we will need to buy some top replacements if we lose any of these players, instead of hearing the club’s advisor pat himself on the back on how prudently he runs the club.

Due to the current Covid situation many fans have had to find alternative entertainment for their Saturdays and I fear some may never return unless these players are not replaced with some exciting signings.