Preston North End's leading scorer Emil Riis has a goals target in his sights

Preston North End’s leading scorer Emil Riis is looking at the 20-goal mark and beyond as he seeks to maintain his good form this season.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 8:00 am

The Dane has netted 17 goals – 13 in the league and four in the Carabao Cup – and only six players have scored more Championship goals.

He’s very much North End’s late man too, six of his goals coming after the 81st minute. In fact five of those have come in the 89th minute or much later.

It has still been bench duty for Riis in the last three games though, with Ched Evans preferred next to Cameron Archer in the attack.

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Preston North End striker Emil Riis takes on Bournemouth's Ethan Laird

The 23-year-old came on as a substitute to score PNE’s winner against Bournemouth and hopes that goal was timely nudge to Ryan Lowe ahead of the visit to Cardiff City.

Riis told the Lancashire Post: “That’s 17 now so 20 goals is a target for me to reach. I’m three off that and hopefully I can score more than that.

"Being on the bench perhaps hasn’t knocked me as it once would have done, I’ve grown up in that sense.

"When I was younger it would definitely have knocked me more.

Emil Riis fires Preston North End's winner against Bournemouth at Deepdale

"As I have got older I have learned more about the professional game. With the competition we have got here, you have to be sharp all the time.

"My agent told me that a lot of my goals had come after the 82nd minute or something like that.

"So whether I have started or been on the bench, I’ve been in the mind frame to score goals.

"Of course I want to start all games and there is a bit of frustration when I don’t start.

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The 89th minute last week was relatively early for Riis when you bear in mind he scored in the 96th minute against Bristol City in January and the 95th minute at Sheffield United earlier in the campaign.

Those latter two earned PNE a draw, so what was going through his mind when Alan Browne played him in for the winner against Bournemouth?

Riis said: “I just thought about hitting it as hard as I could and as near to the far post as I could luckily it went in. I’m pleased to score any goal and that felt good.”