Jayden Stockley scoring Preston North End's winner against Luton was the sign of a strong squad spirit says Alex Neil

Alex Neil thinks that Jayden Stockley coming off the bench to score Preston North End’s late winner against Luton Town summed up perfectly the squad spirit at Deepdale.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 11:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 11:55 am
Jayden Stockley celebrates scoring Preston's winner against Luton Town at Deepdale

Stockley found the back of the net within eight minutes of joining the action to give the Lilywhites a 2-1 victory.

Having started the games against West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers, the striker had been an unused substitute in the win over Fulham.

Stockley made the most of his chance when Neil put him on as PNE’s third and final sub.

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Preston manager Alex Neil

North End manager Neil said: “We are a proper team here, a proper squad.

“If you are not playing, yes be disappointed but react in the right manner.

“The one thing that all the lads know is that if they react in a poor manner it is not going to help them or the team.

“That is why our squad is as good as what it is. They will fight for each other.

Preston striker Jayden Stockley scores against Luton

“They understand that they won’t play every game but to be ready for when they are called upon.”

Stockley’s goal was his second of the season, having previously scored in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield at Deepdale last month.

After largely been used as a substitute early in the season, his campaign got going properly when he came off the bench in the first half against Blackburn and played a big part in turning a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 victory.

He started five of the next six games which followed, and was on the bench at Hull.

Jayden Stockley tries to take the ball past Luton substitute Ryan Tunnicliffe

Stockley, 26, is coming up to his first anniversary as a Preston player.

He joined from Exeter City for £750,000 at the start of January, having been in fine form for the Grecians in League Two.

In his time at North End Stockley has made 15 starts and come off the bench 16 times, scoring six goals. The Luton game was the fourth time this season that a player has come off the bench to score for PNE.

Josh Harrop did so within moments of joining the action in the 4-0 League Cup win at Bradford in August.

Harrop netted again as a substitute when North End beat Barnsley 5-1.

At Charlton at the start of November, Paul Gallagher scored the winner from the penalty spot, having replaced Daniel Johnson in the first half.

Stockley will be waiting to see whether his goal earns him a start at Cardiff on Saturday.

David Nugent has led the attack for the last two games, scoring against Fulham.