Alex Neil has labelled Callum Robinson’s display in Preston’s draw at Norwich as his ‘best by a mile’.
It was only his fifth start in the league under Neil, in the main having to make do with a place on the bench since the early weeks of the season.
But he shone at Carrow Road and presented a strong case to start against Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale this weekend.
North End manager Neil told the Post: “Some of our counter-attacking play was great I thought that was Callum’s best performance by a mile this year.
“I’m really pleased for him and I said to him after the game that he was capable of doing that.
“He got the confidence from scoring the goal against Bristol City last week and he has taken that on.
“Callum is a talented boy but what he needs to learn is the different parts of the game to get himself in the team on a regular basis.
“Hopefully the penny has dropped with him because I was over the moon with that performance.”
Robinson started the first three Championship games of the season, so too the EFL Cup defeat at Accrington.
He had to wait until the Brentford game last month for his next start.
Neil gave him the nod to start at Norwich, a change of system and Stephy Mavididi’s absence opening the door.
The game before at Bristol City, Mavididi had played up front in a 4-4-2, Neil going back to 4-2-3-1 on Saturday.
“Against Bristol City we had a different approach, with us playing two up,” said Neil.
“At Norwich, Callum played off the left and did that very well.
“Stephy had run his race a little bit, that is why he did not feature on Saturday.
“He’d played for England Under-20s then come back to play Friday-Tuesday for us against Bolton and Bristol.
“Stephy is probably not used to that, so the likelihood was that Callum would have played at Norwich regardless.”
Mavididi had come off early in the second half at Bristol City, that suggesting he had picked up a slight injury.
Meanwhile, stand-in PNE skipper Paul Huntington was delighted to play his part in the equalising goal at Norwich.
His goalbound header from a Paul Gallagher corner was touched over the line by Tom Barkhuizen.
With two Norwich players on the line, it might well have needed Barkhuizen’s flick to take it in.
“It reunited the relationship I had with Gally where he crossed it in and I met it,” said Huntington.
“I did that about 10 times in that season when we got promoted but it’s all about the team and nobody’s bothered who scores.”