Preston North End Fans’ Panel member John Smith puzzled by transfer dealings and matchday squad decisions

Saturday’s game in the West Country ended with the scoreline being the same as it had been when it kicked off, after a hard-fought goalless draw.

Before the game I had the feeling that Bristol were there for the taking as they had not won any of their last 10 home league games.

Their club anthem by The Wurzels “One For The Bristol City” which plays after every home win was once again left gathering more dust by the side of the stadium announcer’s record deck, with it being the more jubilant travelling fans having that “ooh arr “ feeling at the end of a game.

While it was not a result which would have had too many of them doing cartwheels over, on a positive note it was our first point on the road this season and also a confidence-boosting clean sheet for our defence.

Sean Maguire on the attack

Our best spell in the game came when we created three decent chances to take the lead in the closing stages of the first half.

In the second half we again had the better of the chances to break the deadlock and spurned a couple of decent opportunities, particularly on the hour mark when Emil Riis wildly volleyed the ball into Row QQ instead of the back of the net.

Although Bristol pressed a little right at the end, we comfortably held on for the point.

The result will also have helped ease the discontent of some fans who had been unhappy with the summer’s bargain-basement recruitment until two last-minute deadline-day signings, both introduced from the bench late on.

Paying out big money guarantees nothing, as Sheffield Wednesday fans currently watching League One football will testify.

However some sort of balance had to be struck from being over-prudent in our transfer dealings although this has now created a crazy situation where we have collected too many players of a similar ability and now have players on our books collecting a wage who can’t even get in the 25-man matchday squad.