Preston North End boss Alex Neil looking to carry momentum into Charlton Athletic's visit to Deepdale
Alex Neil accepts Preston’s derby draw at Blackburn was not the greatest spectacle but thinks the point gained can bring his side momentum.
North End have gone five Championship matches without a win, while the FA Cup defeat to Norwich can be thrown into the mix too.
The broader picture shows just two wins from the last 11 league games, with Neil’s men 10th in the table going into Saturday’s clash with Charlton at Deepdale.
When they beat the Addicks in the reverse fixture at The Valley on November 3, the 1-0 win sent them top.
It was a brief stay at the summit, West Bromwich Albion leapfrogging them the following night.
They won their next game against Huddersfield but their form has hit the skids since.
PNE boss Neil said: “We are a momentum-based team.
“We tend to pick up a couple of points and then get a win – go on a run.
“You look back to last season and we got a 3-3 draw at Aston Villa which started an unbeaten run.
“Every point you pick up is important and the one we got at Blackburn could be big. Hopefully that point will spur us on in the next few games.”
North End remain only two points behind Sheffield Wednesday in sixth place.
Brentford, in third spot, have a six-point advantage over Neil’s men.
For the Charlton game, the London side’s first visit since February 2016, Neil has a few selection issues to mull over.
After a late cameo from the bench at Ewood Park, new boy Scott Sinclair will have had time on the training ground to sharpen his fitness.
Neil used Tom Clarke at right-back against Blackburn but could be tempted to turn to Darnell Fisher.
Sinclair’s best position is on the left wing, a role which Josh Harrop has filled of late.
Harrop could be pushed inside to the No.10 role but Neil says that is dependent on who else plays.
Said Neil: “When we have got Paul Gallagher in that deep playmaking area, to have Gally and Josh in the middle of the pitch isn’t going to win too many balls back.
“When Gally plays, Alan Browne does the hunting and running.
“It is a case of trying to find Josh the right role.
“Callum Robinson played in that inside pocket and did great, so there is no reason why Josh can’t do the same.”