Preston North End’s summer shopping goes into the final week of the transfer window

Preston manager Alex Neil wants to add to the squad before next week's transfer deadline
Preston manager Alex Neil wants to add to the squad before next week's transfer deadline

Alex Neil admits that Preston going into the last week of the transfer window with work still to do is quite a change to the way they operate.

The PNE boss was strong in his opinion that the Deepdale squad needs strengthening when he spoke to the media at Springfields yesterday.

North End open up against Millwall on Saturday, with the transfer window closing at teatime next Thursday.

Their two incoming deals to date are Patrick Bauer and David Nugent, Neil wanting to add further new faces before business closes.

Neil said: “We normally work really quickly and get players in quickly.

“In the last two or three windows we have had players in before it had even opened.

“On the day the window opened, we had four signings and on the day it shut people had forgotten who we signed and were asking why we hadn’t signed anyone!

“Because the lads we have signed in the past generally were from League One, League Two or the League of Ireland, naturally for them it was a big jump from where they had come from to come here.

“A lot of them of late have been younger lads too.

“We now want to try and get guys who have played at this level, who have made an impact.

“They are not easy to get, particularly on our budget but we will see what crops up over the next week.

“Our aim is to definitely improve the squad before the finish.”

Neil is not hiding from the fact that the North End squad is currently weaker than it was at the end of last season.

Callum Robinson was sold to Sheffield United in an £8m deal, while loan players Lukas Nmecha and Brandon Barker returned to Manchester City.

“I don’t think anyone could say we are stronger now than we were at the end of last 
season,” said Neil.

“We have lost Callum, who guaranteed us double figures of goals.

“Nmecha has gone, he was powerful, quick, improving game on game.

“We had Brandon Barker who had the capability, when he was fit and on it, to change a game like he did a few times.

“We’re definitely lighter than we were, I don’t think there is any question about that – it is up to us to resolve it.”

Neil says he would be ‘really disappointed’ if the window shut in a week’s time without more business being gone.

He said: “If it ends without that happening it is not going to be a case of ‘it is what it is, we were a bit unfortunate’, I will be really disappointed if we don’t add to the squad.

“We want to give ourselves the best chance of having a successful season and the way to do that is to get as many quality players in the building as we can.”