Preston North End hero Tom Barkhuizen praises targetman Jayden Stockley’s role in win over Blackburn Rovers

Alan Browne (right) congratulates Barkhuizen after his first goal
Alan Browne (right) congratulates Barkhuizen after his first goal

Tom Barkhuizen hailed the impact of Jayden Stockley in Preston North End’s come-from-behind derby day win.

Stockley was a surprise first-half substitute, brought on after half-an-hour for Paul Gallagher– a purely tactical swap.

The targetman was the focal point for PNE, though not so much in the 15 minutes he had in the first half.

He was involved in all three goals and Barkhuizen was quick to praise North End’s No.20 after the game.

He said: “Jayden up front was brilliant and we did to them what they did to us in the first half – we just went one better and got three goals.

“He’s such a big personality in the dressing room that everyone wants him to do well.

“That’s probably the best game he’s had since he signed.

“He didn’t score but he absolutely bashed up their two centre-halves and they had no idea what to do.

“It created more room for me, Browney, DJ and Seani who were playing just behind him.

“We used it to our advantage and I think all three of our goals came from it.

“It’s great for him that he can have such a big impact and hopefully he can kick on and reproduce a little bit of form that he had when he first signed.”

After bagging two goals in the comeback – his second a simply stunning stroke into the far corner – Barkhuizen knew exactly where to start summarising proceedings.

“We can start with the first half, which was an absolute shambles from us.

“It was borderline a disgrace all over the pitch and we rightfully got booed off and got a rollicking at half time.

“In the second half we’ve come out and showed what the real Preston is and we’ve took the three points.

“We said in the dressing room at half-time that if you get the next goal you put them on the back foot and they get a bit nervous and that’s exactly what happens. Sean did brilliantly to keep the ball in, whether or not he did keep it in I’m not sure, but he’s just flicked it back and I’ve headed it in.

“That set us on our way. You could see that a team that has been struggling are trying to cling on to a 2-1 then.

“We just absolutely battered them.”