Preston North End pair making the most of their chances

PNE academy graduate Josh Earl in action at Deepdale.PNE academy graduate Josh Earl in action at Deepdale.
PNE academy graduate Josh Earl in action at Deepdale.
As with any season, as the old cliche goes, you do not know what to expect when coming into it.

This campaign was no different, although the head coach had got a trial run beforehand, there were new signings to be made and form can change drastically.

There were certainly a handful of players that PNE fans wanted to see given more of a chance to succeed.

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Thankfully for the fans those that were willed on to do well have so far delivered.

The two obvious and outstanding choice would be Emil Riis and Josh Earl.

The Dane, now celebrating a call-up to the Denmark squad, has been a revelation.

There were clear signs that there was a very good player in there within his first few games at the club, but then he failed to make the hoped-for impact.

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His confidence seemed to dry up, as did his goals and as a result his ‘game time’ suffered.

There would be substitute appearances totalling 10 or 15 minutes at a time, which did nothing to get him up to speed with things, get used to the league nor pick his confidence up from the floor.

Riis’ endeavour was never in doubt, he would be a willing runner and put himself about but he did not look like a threat nor did he win enough of his duels.

It is far from that this season.

Credit has to go to Frankie McAvoy – the Lilywhites head coach immediately took to the Dane once in the full-time head coach’s role and gave him a much-needed run of games.

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Riis was assured his position was not under threat and now the rewards are there for all to see.

He has 11 goals for the season so far and does not look like stopping.

Another who is impressing is Earl, who had come into the side but never nailed down a place.

Since coming into the team against Huddersfield Town in August and starring, he has been a mainstay.

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It is nice to see an academy graduate going through tough times as a player but coming out the other side to consistently play in PNE shirt.

After impressive starts for Riis and Earl the question will be whether they can maintain their standards, something which we have no previous indication of.

They are both showing consistent first-team form for the first time and with both doing so well, the next marker will be to see it through to the New Year.

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