Five talking points from Preston North End's 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic
Preston North End’s win over Charlton Athletic was long overdue, their last victory being on December 14.
In the Championship it had been three draws and two defeats since, coupled with an FA Cup exit.
So to put three points on the board came as a relief to the North End fans, players and staff alike.
Here are five of the talking points from the 2-1 victory at Deepdale.
1. This win was something of a rarity this season in that PNE fought back from a losing position to triumph.
It was only the second time they had won after being behind, the other occasion being October’s 3-2 victory over Blackburn.
They have drawn from losing positions – last week’s 1-1 draw at Blackburn and September’s 3-3 thriller with Bristol City.
While North End showed their battling qualities to turn a deficit into victory, it will have come as a concern that they conceded the first goal again.
This was the fifth game in a row that had happened, something Alex Neil will be been to address.
2. Josh Harrop is now PNE’s joint top scorer after netting a fine goal to bring his side level.
Him and Daniel Johnson are on eight goals apiece for the campaign, this Harrop’s fifth in the league.
All of Johnson’s have come in Championship action, five of them from the penalty spot.
Harrop’s 31st minute strike against Charlton was the best of his haul, curling a left-foot shot from the edge of the box into the far corner.
3. Daniel Johnson being back on the team sheet was a welcome sight.
North End haven’t been able to call on his services since early December and he’s been a big miss.
Against Charlton, DJ showed his quality and his fitness levels were impressive after the lengthy absence.
Johnson being available again and the recent form of Harrop, does beg the question of who does Neil use in the No.10 role?
It was a position which Johnson excelled in earlier in the season, while Neil likes Alan Browne there.
Harrop got the chance to play in the advanced role against Charlton and turned in a man-of-the-match performance, Johnson used slightly further back.
Neil is likely to take the horses for courses view, players suited for different occasions.
The midfield almost picked itself on Saturday due to Ben Pearson being ill and Paul Gallagher injured. The only other option to Neil was to play Ryan Ledson as the holder.
It’s fair to say Harrop took full advantage of his switch inside from the wing.
4. Patrick Bauer and Andre Green both scored against their former goals and celebrated in a different manner.
Bauer didn’t celebrate, team-mate Joe Rafferty having to grab his right arm to hold it up in the air.
Earlier, Green had put Charlton in front, with the ex-PNE loanee sliding on his knees to celebrate.
It wasn’t meant to offend, he wasn’t here long, Green taking to social media to explain the knee slide wasn’t aimed at the Preston fans.
Some moves work, some don’t. Green is now making a fresh start at Charlton.
5. Scott Sinclair was given his home debut and impressed in patches.
After 10 minutes at Blackburn as a substitute the week before, Sinclair was in from the start and played the full 90 minutes.
In the build-up to the game, Alex Neil had talked about a gradual introduction for the high-profile January signing from Celtic but he clearly changed course in that line of thinking.
Sinclair showed some nice touches and a good turn of pace. He could have had a penalty in the first half and in the second half had a couple of shots.
One of those came after a lung-busting run from his own half when he should have fed David Nugent on the edge of the box rather than go for goal himself.
On this evidence, Sinclair will be a big asset to the North End team.