Preston North End Fans’ Panel’s John Roper’s fearful of another season ending in a slump

The nightmare goes on for North End fans as we slumped to defeat at rock bottom Wycombe Wanderers.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 12:30 pm

First of all congratulations to Wycombe as they deserved to win the game.

Singularly our squad looks better but if you have a captain steering the ship who has lost his way then this is the inevitable outcome.

To say PNE were poor in the first half would be an understatement as we were absolutely shocking.

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North End’s Daniel Johnson battles with Wycombe’s Curtis Thompson at Adams Park

We did improve after the break but still couldn’t find a way past a side who hadn’t scored in their last four games and had only won five league games previous to this one all season.

No leadership on the pitch and no inspiration from the touchline or, no doubt, in the dressing room either.

The body language of the manager doesn’t inspire confidence and I have to say it looked like another ‘couldn’t care less’ approach and attitude at Adams Park.

Alex Neil made two changes to the side that drew with Bournemouth with Andrew Hughes and Sean Maguire coming in for Tom Barkhuizen and the injured Greg Cunningham.

Wycombe started the game on the front foot and within three minutes a home corner was headed wide.

It was a sign of things to come and a clear indication of the game plan. Iversen saved well from another effort and by the sixth minute the home side had four corners.

At the other end North End were absolutely punchless and at no point looked like threatening the Wycombe goal. Iversen saved well from Impeazu after 25 minutes but a minute later, the Chairboys were ahead and, you’ve guessed it, a Tafazolli header from a corner.

We had enough warnings but we just didn’t mark well enough. Wycombe were the only team in the game in what was one of the worst halves of football I have seen from North End since we came back into the Championship.

The manager reacted to the first-half debacle by making three changes with Potts,

Barkhuizen and Gally coming on to replace Johnson, Sinclair and Whiteman. North End started better, but they couldn’t really have started any worse.

o where do we go after this horror show? I think what made this defeat all the worse was that we knew exactly what to expect from Gareth Ainsworth’s team yet did nothing to counter it.

We were a goal down to a team at the bottom of the league and up to the last 10 minutes we were only playing one forward. Sometimes I am staggered by the tactics of the manager.

Clearly North End are in a mess and something must be done immediately.

Perhaps two wins will be enough to secure Championship football but with 10 games to go you struggle to think where they will come from. Last season we won two out of the last nine and the season before that we won one out of the last eight.

Preston, under Alex Neil, are not a club that finish the season well. I’m not quite panicking yet but I sure will be glad when we get past 50 points.