Preston North End loan winger Anthony Gordon pushing to start against QPR
Anthony Gordon has pushed himself into contention for a starting role in Preston North End’s clash with Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale tomorrow night.
The on-loan winger made an impact when he came off the bench for the last half-hour of Saturday’s 4-0 defeat against Cardiff City.
From an attacking point of view, he did more in that 30 minutes than North End had mustered in the first hour.
Gordon, who celebrates his 20th birthday tomorrow, won PNE’s first penalty when he burst into the box and went to ground under Harry Wilson’s challenge.
He later set up chances for Brad Potts and Tom Barkhuizen with some direct play, using his pace to go past Cardiff’s defenders.
Interestingly, Gordon played more central than in his two previous North End appearances and he got some joy from that.
Lilywhites manager Alex Neil said: “Anthony made a positive impact on the game, he gave us impetus.
“That’s how we got the penalty and had we scored to make it 2-1, I would have thought ‘game on’.
“When Anthony and Paul Gallagher came on, an aspect of our play changed.”
Gordon was signed on loan from Everton on transfer deadline day.
He made his PNE debut as a starter in the 2-1 home defeat to Rotherham and missed the win at Blackburn because of an injury.
The England Under-20s international returned to the squad against Watford a week ago, coming on as a substitute, as he then did at Cardiff.
Neil explained he had not been able to fit Gordon into the starting XI against Cardiff, having chosen to use two strikers and wing-backs in a 3-4-1-2 system.
However, it will be difficult for Neil not to start him for QPR’s visit which is being broadcast live on Sky Sports, kick-off 7.45pm.
Neil will want a quicker tempo to PNE’s play all over the pitch tomorrow, with him of the view their passing was too slow at Cardiff.
“There were times when we made too many passes,” said Neil.
“When you are switching the ball from side to side against a side trying to stifle you, that needs to be done with one pass.
“We were making three, four, five passes at Cardiff and they just shuffled across to cover us.”
QPR will come to Deepdale tomorrow as a side very much in form.
They have won their last four Championship matches, the latest being Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Bournemouth.
North End the QPR are level on points with each other, with the London side having a better goal difference.
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