Patience was a virtue in Preston’s pursuit of striker Scott Sinclair

Preston North End manager Alex Neil
Preston North End manager Alex Neil

Preston manager Alex Neil thinks some transfer targets are worth waiting for if they cannot be landed first time.

Scott Sinclair’s signing this week was done at the second attempt, PNE having tried to get him last summer.

There have been other recent cases of Neil waiting until another window came around to bring in targets.

Neil said: “When you have got certain targets you do like to keep up an interest.

“As you know, we shop domestically and there isn’t going to be someone rocking up from Holland or Sweden.

“So there are only a limited amount of players domestically which means you keep your interest up.

“When you are looking to improve the threshold of players, you’ve got to consider a couple of different things.

“Is getting that player achievable, he is affordable and would he want to come?

“If the answer to those three things is ‘yes’, you can try and pursue them.”

Sinclair arrived from Celtic on a two-and-a-half year deal on Wednesday night and was hoping to make his debut in today’s clash with Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Neil said: “We tried to get Scott in the summer, that was well documented but unfortunately we didn’t get it across the line.

“It has happened in the past. There were other players we targeted who didn’t come at first.

“We spoke about Brad Potts the window before we got him and we looked at Ryan Ledson the window before he signed.

“Sometimes players just aren’t available the first time around but circumstances can change and open up an opportunity.”

How much business PNE do this month to follow-up the arrival of Sinclair, Neil doesn’t know at this stage.

Neil said: “We will wait and see, it is not really my decision.

“I try to highlight players, bring them to the table and see if we can try to do something.

“Ultimately it is down to the finances and whether we can afford someone.”

After resting key players for last week’s FA Cup game against Norwich and being without others due to a virus doing the rounds, Neil was set to take a pretty strong squad to Blackburn this afternoon.

Patrick Bauer, Tom Clarke, Paul Huntington and Josh Ginnelly were four of the players who went down ill over Christmas and the New Year.

Said Neil: “Most of those who were ill are alright now, there’s just one or two getting to the tail end of the virus.

“We had a deep clean at the training ground last Sunday and we gave the players a couple of days off.

“The clear midweek we’ve had has been welcome after a relentless period. We’ve now got our focus on trying to get three points at Blackburn.”