Plenty more to come from Preston North End duo Jordan Storey and Ben Davies
Preston boss Alex Neil thinks Jordan Storey and Ben Davies have experienced a ‘learning curve’ of a campaign at the heart of the PNE defence.
The young pair have had an 18-game unbroken run in the PNE team since January and were recognised in the club’s awards at the weekend.
Storey, 21, was voted Young Player of the Year by fans, with 23-year-old Davies winning the Player of the Year trophy and the Players’ Player award.
Of late they have had a tougher time at the back, in line with the rest of the team as Preston’s form dropped off.
Sheffield Wednesday’s big striker Atdhe Nuhiu caused them problems after coming on as a substitute on Saturday.
At Wigan last week, Leon Clarke proved a handful.
Neil says that coping with physical strikers is part of the learning process. “It is something in their game which will have to improve,” he said.
“For us to realistically mount a challenge next year we need to be competitive in every manner of our football.
“Whether that is when teams turn the ball forward and be aggressive with the first header or open the pitch up and play passes, we have to be able to cope.
“These are two young lads remember, and it is the same in other parts of the pitch.
“We are not an old team, we have a lot of young players.
“Physically, some of our lads still have some growing to do.
“Jordan Storey is going to get a lot bigger and stronger than he is at the moment.
“Ben Davies will still add a bit of size in being physically stronger.
“This year has been a great learning curve for them.
“For the whole team this has been a learning curve in terms of rough periods and coming out the other side.
“They’ve been brave enough to play, to make errors and correct them.”
Storey and Davies had a few games together earlier in the season.
But their run as a partnership in the centre of defence started in the 4-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on January 19.
Neil intends adding a bit more experience to his squad this summer as he looks to push PNE on next season.
Before then, his aim is to see Preston finish on a high note at Brentford on Sunday.
The trip to Griffin Park has a 12.30pm kick-off.
Said Neil: “What we have done of late and during recent transfer windows is make sure the squad as a whole is fleshed out and strong.
“This window coming up, and looking forward, we need to improve the starting XI and really push on.
“That would really give us a hand in certain areas of the pitch as we look to build on what we have done.”