Forward play was Preston North End’s undoing admits boss Alex Neil
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The Lilywhites have scored 58 Championship goals with one game to go, 31 of those hitting the back of the net in the first 16 matches.
It leaves nothing resting on Wednesday night’s visit to Bristol City apart from the desire to finish off strongly and professionally.
PNE boss Neil’s post-match analysis was in the main taken up by the shortcomings up front and it was not any sort of finger-pointing exercise at any individuals.
Neil said: “The simple fact is you look across the board and Daniel Johnson has 12 goals and Tom Barkhuizen nine in the league.
“Those two have had their best season at this level in terms of scoring goals.
“We haven’t scored enough goals at the top end, it really is that simple. Against Birmingham a centre-back and a central midfielder scored the goals to win us the game.
“If you look at all the teams in top six they will have double figures across the frontline.
“Unfortunately for us, we haven’t managed that for a variety of reasons.
“I’m not blaming individual players whatsoever.
“Creativity-wise we have to create more, in terms of taking opportunities we can probably convert more.
“Maybe there are styles we can change to help our forwards more.
“When your numbers are as short as ours have been, naturally it is going to hamper you.
“I look at Nottingham Forest who are second bottom for the number of chances created in this league, yet they have one of the top scorers.
“Huddersfield have Karlan Grant in their team, he has scored many goals.”
Neil is bound to ask North End to prioritise a striker in the transfer window, one which opens later in the month and shuts in October.
He also recognises the need to work and improve the players he has got.
Said Neil: “It will take a bit of both. Within the club we have got some good players.
“I thought Jayden Stockley had a great game on Saturday.
“I’m pretty confident that if you asked all our front lads would they liked to have scored more goals, all their answers would be, ‘Yes’.
“There would be a variety of answers as to why they haven’t scored enough goals.”
Patrick Bauer and Brad Potts scored late in each half in the win over Birmingham, which completed a league double over the Blues.