Preston North End boss is thrilled by new striker Emil Riis’s early showings

Alex Neil thinks Preston new boy Emil Riis will soon start to come under more scrutiny from opposition defenders.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 8:00 am

Lilywhites manager Neil does not see that as a bad thing, far from it in fact with it having the potential to free up others to do damage.

Riis has shone in his two starts at Queens Park Rangers and Huddersfield, leading the attack so well.

Neil sees the Dane’s game as being a ‘different dynamic’ and is enjoying what he is seeing from him.

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PNE striker Emil Riis impressed at Huddersfield on Saturday

He now hopes Riis can be just as effective in tomorrow’s home clash with Millwall, so too the Deepdale meeting with Birmingham on Saturday.

“Emil has been terrific, he has done great for us in these two starts,” said Neil.

“He takes the ball in and he can run away from the ball to make space. I think the exciting thing about him is that teams are going to have to start to designate two players to him – one is not enough.

“When he takes it and turns past someone, if the extra player has to come over we have naturally got guys in better positions who can take advantage.”

The performance of Riis at Huddersfield landed him a place in the EFL’s team of the weekend, together with the two-goal Alan Browne.

It was an action-packed game for the £1.2m buy from Randers FC.

Said Neil: “There were three times in the game when he drew in his marker and turned the ball away to make them look like they were struggling while he was away from them on his bike.

“His game is a different dynamic, let’s put it that way.

“In the two games Emil has started, he got us a penalty, got the lad Sarr sent off, created chances and smashed the bar.

“He should have scored at QPR but the ball hit him and he’s had four good chances in two games which is a really good sign.”

On the fitness front ahead of the Millwall game, Neil indicated he could have either Ben Davies or Ben Pearson back available.

He would not say which one, though, both having missed the QPR and Huddersfield games with injuries.

Neil said: “One of the two Bens will be out there training and we will see how he is.

“He won’t be far away and hasn’t been far away for the last two games.”

The results speak for themselves in the fact that PNE have managed without both players.

Jordan Storey has stood in effectively for Davies, in a flat back four at QPR and then in a three-man backline against Huddersfield.

Pearson’s absence was covered by Browne partnering Ryan Ledson in the QPR game, with Brad Potts having a central role on Saturday.

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