Alex Neil was delighted with the contributions of Callum Robinson and Lukas Nmecha to Preston’s win over Ipswich at Deepdale yesterday.
Both netted twice in the 4-0 victory and put in impressive performances as North End put already-relegated Town to the sword.
Robinson produced his best display since returning from hamstring surgery.
His two goals in the first 22 minutes gave PNE the base to build on.
Nmecha responded to Neil giving him a central striker’s role by scoring twice in the second half.
The question will be asked of Nmecha and Manchester City by Preston as to whether he wants to return on loan next season.
Neil said: “Lukas is City’s player but there is no doubt in my mind that he will go on and become a really good player.
“Whether that is here next year or somewhere else will remain to be seen.
“I think we have seen the development of him from the start to yesterday – he got the two goals, he ran the channels,he can scare people when he is one on one and pleasingly for me, he didn’t complicate his game as much.
“He just needed to simplify his game, what young players have got a tendency to do is try and complicate it or take too many touches and try and step over the ball five times .
“What I say to my players is that are thousands of good players but there are not thousands of effective players.
“What Lukas has become is an effective player – we have turned him from being a really nice player to a really effective player.
“He has grown up a lot this year and I am really pleased with how he has developed off the pitch as well as on the pitch.”
Robinson’s two goals saw him move back to the top of Preston’s scoring charts with 13 goals – two ahead of Alan Browne who missed this game as he looks to recover fully from ankle ligament damage.
Neil said: “What Callum did in this game not every player can do.
“That is why he plays even when he is not up to match speed but he won’t get match speed unless we put him in game-like scenarios.
“ I thought you could see as the game wore on he got more and more comfortable in his position in terms of the pockets he picks up and he had the quality to damage them.”
Neil gave Joe Rafferty his first Preston start since he joined from Rochdale.
He moved Darnell Fisher across to left-back to allow Rafferty to come in.
Said Neil: “His positional sense was good and you can see he is a more experienced player in terms of filling holes and slots and his use of the ball was good.”