Preston boss Alex Neil is pleased with the fluidity he has at his disposal in attack

Alex Neil says he is fortunate to have the players capable of operating in the ‘fluid’ front line Preston North End used at Nottingham Forest last week.

Saturday, 7th September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 7th September 2019, 7:00 am
Preston North End's Brad Potts in action

The Lilywhites played for more than an hour without a recognised striker – Neil doing so partly through choice and partly because he was without three forwards.

He used Billy Bodin as the main centre forward, Brad Potts and Josh Harrop either side of him.

Behind Bodin in the No.10 role was Daniel Johnson, a job which he has done well since the second week of the season.

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Neil told the Lancashire Post: “You know me well enough now that I do like to play like that.

“I really like my front three to interchange – I like pace, I like technique, I like quality, I like to see players drop into pockets and stretch the game.

“It is hard to come across too many players who can do that and I’m fortunate to have got a few lads who can do that.”

Neil was forced to manage without Tom Barkhuizen and Sean Maguire last week.

With David Nugent and Louis Moult sidelined, Neil had to be creative.

“If we’d had Sean and Tom that would have helped us,” said Neil.

“But you have to give a lot of credit to the lads who played at the top end of the pitch.”

Barkhuizen pulled-up with a groin injury in the Carabao Cup win over Hull City, while Maguire has been advised to rest a problem with his eye.

The blood pressure in one of his eyes doubled after he was hit in the face by a ball in training last week.

North End will assess him closer to the return to action against Brentford at Deepdale a week today.

They’ll resume following the international break with 10 points from six games.

Four of the six matches before the October international break are at home.

Birmingham away follows Brentford, then Manchester City come to Deepdale in the Carabo Cup.

That is followed by Bristol City at home, a midweek trip to Middlesbrough and a Roses clash with Barnsley at home.

Last week’s emergency striker Bodin feels North End have made a decent start but there is plenty of room yet for improvement.

Bodin said: “I think we have done alright.

“There was the Swansea game where we probably shot ourselves in the foot and lost the game from being in a good position.

“We probably should have won at Forest but at least it was a better result than the first two away games.

“It’s early in the season but we are up there, it’s not been a bad start.

“We could have had a few more points but overall it is has been pretty good, 10 points is okay.”