New boys will take time to adjust at PNE says Neil

Alex Neil has asked Preston’s supporters not to be too quick in judging January signings Louis Moult and Billy Bodin.

Both arrived early in the transfer window, with Bodin so far having had more game-time than Moult.

North End signed Louis Moult from Motherwell in January

North End signed Louis Moult from Motherwell in January

That was mainly due to Moult having a hamstring strain when he arrived from Motherwell.

Bodin, called up by Wales this week, has 11 starts and a substitute appearance to his name ahead of today’s clash with Sunderland.

For Moult, there have been three starts and four games coming off the bench.

A stomach bug meant that he missed last week’s defeat to Fulham at Deepdale.

North End manager Neil reasons that it will take time for both players to settle fully.

Neil points out that it has taken time for the players he inherited last summer to fully adapt to his approach and that the new boys are no different after arriving in January.

Neil said: “At the top end of the pitch especially, a lot of the lads are quite young.

“They are all getting better habits, their touch and quality is improving.

“In all areas we are getting better –Ben Pearson has 
improved considerably since the start of the season.

“Ben Davies has improved considerably, Darnell Fisher has grown into the season and got better and better.

“I could go through them all if I had to – there are so many who have done well.

“They have now all got a good understanding of how we play.

“So without going into the nuts and bolts of it, I can see them nodding their heads when we go through things.

“In January we helped the squad and added to it, and we have had to start from scratch with those lads.

“You have to try to get them up to speed with the others and it takes time.

“What you really need to be careful of is not to judge the new signings too quickly.

“The boys who are at the moment performing very well for us, were different at the start of the season.

“They were doing things which were frustrating for me at the time – a few months on they are fully up to speed and doing things naturally.

“So let’s give the new lads a bit of time to understand what we want.”

Bodin’s inclusion in the Wales squad means six PNE players could be away during the international break.

Chris Maxwell is also in the Welsh squad for a four-team tournament in China.

Sean Maguire, Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan and Greg Cunningham are in the Republic of Ireland squad for a friendly in Turkey.

Cunningham’s inclusion will depend on his recovery from a tight hamstring which he suffered against Fulham.