Preston boss Alex Neil has asked the fans to give the new signings time to settle in

Jayden Stockley
Jayden Stockley

Alex Neil wants the Preston supporters to afford the new January buys an element of settling-in time at Deepdale.

Today’s home clash with Swansea City will be the first opportunity for the faithful to clap eyes on Jayden Stockley, Brad Potts, Josh Ginnelly and Connor Ripley.

North End manager Neil hopes all will hit the ground running but accepts a degree of patience might have to be shown.

“We must try to offer the new lads a bit of patience,” said Neil.

“It is never easy for any new signing, a case of coming in and fitting like a glove.

“Don’t get me wrong, that can happen and some players take to it like a duck to water.

“But there are others who take a little bit of bedding-in time and tend to improve over the weeks ahead.

“Naturally we want the guys to hit the ground running but it is not always the case.

“Some of these lads have had to move, they are not from round the corner.

“In Jayden’s case he has got a family and young kids to move up here, he’s coming from Exeter which is at the other end of the country.

“The January window is a tough one, you can ask any manager that.

“It can really push you on to the next bit or it can take a bit of time – you have to fit it all together as a manager.”

Neil is pleased to have got four deals done early, the three outfield players having arrived within the first three days of the window.

More business is envisaged but he doesn’t want the early deals to be overlooked as the window goes on.

Said Neil: “If you look at the history since I’ve been here, it has always been the case of us making early signings.

“Last summer everyone was moaning that we didn’t really sign anyone yet we signed five players.

“But the problem was we signed them in the first few weeks .

“By the time we got to the last week, people thought ‘They are old signings, we need to sign some more’.

“We have done some of our business early again and that should not be forgotten as the window goes on.”

In addition to the quartet of new signings, Neil will have players back from injury and suspension today.

Alan Browne, Sean Maguire and Brandon Barker got run-outs from the bench in last week’s FA Cup defeat to Doncaster after recovering from hamstring strains.

Neil said: “Alan played 45 minutes which is a bit longer than I had wanted to give him but we had to try and change the dynamics of the game.

“He’s resilient, a very good athlete and he was fine.

“Sean we have to be very careful with, keep a check on his workload.”