Jayden Stockley is making a big impression in Preston North End’s attack
Jayden Stockley has let his feet do the talking in Preston’s last two games as well as doing the business in the air.
The striker doubled his goals tally for the season by finding the net at Sheffield Wednesday last week and in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.
Stockley’s goal at Hillsborough was a first-time shot from the edge of the box.
Against Forest he darted in to meet a low cross from Brad Potts to side-foot home from close range.
Although Stockley’s height and ability in the air lends itself to the targetman tag, PNE manager Alex Neil has often talked about the 26-year-old’s technical ability on the floor.
Following the Sheffield Wednesday game, Neil was to point out that the finish from Stockley was the sort he had seen regularly in training.
Of the two goals earlier in the season from Stockley, the first against Huddersfield in November saw him stoop to head home after a free-kick from Paul Gallagher had hit the post.
Against Luton Town in December, he shot home from close range.
Stockley’s ability in the air when it is utilised correctly, can be a useful tool for PNE to have.
It was perfect as Neil went more direct with a 4-4-2 in the Forest game.
The statistics show that Stockley won 25 aerial duels, seven of them against Forest centre-half Joe Worrall and six when battling their skipper Michael Dawson.
Against Wednesday, two headers from Stockley were picked up by Scott Sinclair and Potts to score the first and third goals.
So without a doubt he has made a big impact this last week.
His start on Saturday was only the eighth in the league this season, Stockley coming on as a sub in 21 Championship games.
Stockley was replaced by Gallagher with eight minutes left against Forest, that surprising some of the PNE fanbase.
Neil explained that it was to bring about a different attacking approach in the closing stages.
“I felt that the impact of the 4-4-2 had started to fade by then,” said Neil.
“Forest had dropped Ben Watson in and they were starting to get a lot more possession – we needed an extra midfielder on to give us a platform.
“After we made the changes we went and created three good chances.”