Marnick may get more advanced role at PNE

North End right-back Marnick Vermijl
North End right-back Marnick Vermijl
Share this article

Preston right-back Marnick Vermijl could be in line for a change of position.

Lilywhites boss Alex Neil admitted that he had thought about using Vermijl in a more attacking role at Fulham last Saturday.

Looking ahead, it might be that Neil considers playing the Belgian further up the pitch as he has other options for the right-back shirt.

Neil told the Post:“I was tempted to put Marnick up one place at Fulham for his running power.

“I’m not 100% convinced that Marnick’s best position is right-back, at times.

“We have played him in a couple of different positions in some of the bounce games, so that is something we will continue to look at.”

Calum Woods filled in for the suspended Darnell Fisher at right-back against Fulham.

Fisher is likely to regain his place at Wolves this afternoon after serving his ban.

Said Neil: “I’m really pleased Darnell is back.

“He has been a really key performer for us, he’s really aggressive and physical – a force to be reckoned with.”

Vermijl has had limited game-time this season.

His only start came in the League Cup at Accrington, while in the Championship he has been restricted to a 10-minute run-out as a sub against Birmingham.

Others have been in the same boat, Andy Boyle and Kevin O’Connor getting their only starts in the Accrington defeat.

Neil said: “The team has played very well this season, we have lost only one game in 12 in the league.

“We have had a lot of big performers this season so it is difficult to fluctuate that team too much.

“But what we have done is, depending on who we have played, whether we are home or away, we have maybe made for a more creative element or a more solid one.

“That is something we will continue to do because not every two games are the same.

“We prepare for that next particular game we play and not the frailties which might have happened the one 
before.”

Neil, meanwhile, was pleased with PNE’s latest piece of contract work this week.

Woods signed fresh terms on a deal which runs until the summer of 2019.

His return from injury has given Neil the option of pushing Vermijl forward, with Woods also able to cover at left-back and in the middle.

Said Neil: “Calum had a hard time with injury but he’s back now and is one of our more experienced players.

“He has displayed in the last couple of games that he certainly has something to offer.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Calum has come back in the way he has because he is a good character – we have got a lot of good characters at the club.

“John Welsh was in the same position as Calum with a long-term injury, he has come back and performed well.

“We are pleased with what we have got with Calum and his new deal is deserved.”