Darnell Fisher targets Bristol City visit for his Preston North End return

Darnell Fisher is tackled by Stoke's Josh Tymon in the 2-0 victory at the bet365 Stadium in January
Darnell Fisher is tackled by Stoke's Josh Tymon in the 2-0 victory at the bet365 Stadium in January

Darnell Fisher could return to the Preston squad in time for Saturday’s big Deepdale clash with Bristol City.

The right-back missed last Saturday’s 3-1 win at Millwall because of a hip flexor injury.

His place went to skipper Tom Clarke who scored PNE’s second goal.

North End manager Alex Neil said: “Darnell has been making progress.

“It was just unfortunate for him that he got the injury when he did.

“Darnell had spent a period out of the team and then we asked quite a lot of him over the last few weeks to churn out games consistently.

“It just took its toll but it was nothing too worrying from our point of view.

“We are hoping that as the week progresses he will be able to train with us.

“Other than that, we are okay with injuries.

“All the lads are fine and in good shape as we speak.”

Fisher, 24, had started six games in a row, having had a couple of months out of the side when Clarke was the preferred right-back.

Since coming back into the team, Neil says Fisher has met the standards which he set last season.

“Darnell is back to where he was last year,” said Neil.

“We can say that about more than just him to be fair – there are quite a few players who are finding their rhythm again.

“It’s hard to put your finger on why that has been the case.”

Ahead of Saturday’s game, Neil took the opportunity to watch Bristol City in action in Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Birmingham at Ashton Gate.

Said Neil: “Everyone thinks football is all champagne and WAGs but I can assure you it is most definitely not!

“It is services, coffees and four-and-a-half drives to see games.

“As you know, I’m a big fan of video analysis and you can get 95% of your info that way.

“But going to watch a game live you can get more of a feel for players, how they interact with one another.”