Alex Neil delighted to see Preston North End striker Jayden Stockley off the mark

Preston striker Jayden Stockley
Preston striker Jayden Stockley

Preston manager Alex Neil says there is more to come from ‘monster’ striker Jayden Stockley after his resurgence of late in the Lilywhites side.

The powerful frontman got off the mark for the season in Saturday’s 3-1 victory against Huddersfield.

It took his tally in a North End shirt to five following his January arrival from Exeter in a £750,000 deal.

After featuring regularly in the second half of last season, Stockley had found the going somewhat tougher this time.

However, the 27-year-old has made a big impact in the last three games, helping PNE win all of them.

Thrown on as a first-half substitute against Blackburn, his presence up front turned the derby in Preston’s favour after they had trailed 2-0.

He started at Charlton and earned the penalty from which Paul Gallagher scored the winner.

Then he was a focal point in the win over Huddersfield last Saturday, finding the net early on and leading the line well.

Neil said: “I was delighted for Jayden to see him score.

“Strikers feed off goals and the big fella has been great for us in the last three games.

“He was so unselfish in his play in the previous two games, so to see him score was brilliant.

“Jayden will admit that at the start of the season he found it difficult.

“On merit, based on what he has done in training and in bounce games, he has come back in for the last three matches and been an absolute monster for us.

“He’s bashed up the backline of the opposition, kept the ball alive, won headers and done very well.

“There is much more to come from Jayden – he hasn’t played a lot of games at this level when you think about it.

“He deserves huge amount for what he has done recently and he’s playing with plenty of confidence.”

Stockley offers Preston the targetman option and they have gone longer in the last three games with him at the top end of the pitch.

It is very much a ‘horses for courses’ approach from Neil who will pick players to suit certain games.

Said Neil: “On Saturday we had a few players missing and we had to find a different way to win the game.

“We thought that feeding it up to Jayden, getting it out wide and putting crosses in was the way to go.

“That proved the case but there will be other games when that wouldn’t work and we’d go with a running nine up front.”

Meanwhile, North End face Barrow in the second round of the Lancashire Senior Cup at Springfields training ground tomorrow afternoon (1pm).

Admission for fans is free but donations to Rainbow House would be welcome.