PNE boss Alex Neil wants to hold on to Jordan Hugill

Jordan Hugill celebrates scoring Preston's winner against Sheffield United
Jordan Hugill celebrates scoring Preston's winner against Sheffield United

Preston manager Alex Neil has reiterated his desire to keep hold of Jordan Hugill during the January transfer window.

Hugill netted his ninth goal of the season with the winner against Sheffield United at Deepdale and is certain to be a man in demand next month.

Bristol City were linked with him over the weekend, while in the last 12 months four Championship clubs saw bids for him rejected.

After the 1-0 victory over the Blades, Neil quashed talk that the signing of Louis Moult was to replace Hugill.

Moult, who is joining from Motherwell on January 1, is seen by Neil as competition for Hugill and he also has plans to pair them together in some games.

With regards to Hugill, Neil said: “We have had meetings and discussions with Jordan.

“I’ve sat down with him on numerous occasions, I’ve also met his agent numerous times.

“Naturally, they want what is best for them.

“Jordan is a man – you can sit him down and explain the situation to him.

“The one thing he does is accept it, he gets on with it.

“He loves being here, it is not as if he doesn’t like the place and doesn’t want to be at the club.

“It is like anything else, if someone comes in with untold riches then lads get their heads turned.

“Jordan is a young lad and doing great for us.”

The Lilywhites have more arrivals planned to follow that of Moult next month.

With Saturday’s win taking them to within two points of the top six, Neil is confident that his side can challenge in the upper reaches.

Said Neil: “The club are doing everything they possibly can to help us.

“I’m thrilled with how it is going at the moment, in terms of the lads that we have got are doing very well.

“Equally, Peter Ridsdale and the owner together with everyone behind the scenes have nothing but good things planned for this club in terms of trying to move it forward.

“I’ve always said that we have got a chance, it is everyone else that doesn’t believe me!

“Although we are not promising anything, what we are hoping for is to continue this run.

“We have shown that we are relatively competitive and that teams find it hard to beat us.

“If we keep doing that, come the end of the season we won’t be far away.”

On the fitness front, North End will assess an injury to Darnell Fisher this week.

He came off in the first half against the Blades, with Kevin O’Connor replacing him.

Neil said: “His hip locked, so when he was running it was jarring. That wasn’t good so we had to make the change.”