Preston North End wait for fitness update on winger Scott SInclair who limped out of the win at Derby County

Preston North End could be facing a spell without leading scorer Scott Sinclair who limped out of their Boxing Day victory at Derby County.

Monday, 28th December 2020, 8:00 am

Sinclair pulled up in the 68th minute of the clash after chasing the ball towards the corner flag, immediately signalling to the bench that he had a problem.

He appeared to hold the back of his right leg which suggests an hamstring issue.

After leaving the pitch, the former Celtic man headed straight for the dressing room but wasn’t limping too much.

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Preston North End winger Scott Sinclair is tackled by Derby's Krystian Bielik

Sinclair, scorer of seven goals in the Championship this season, had carried an injury into the game. He wore a protective cast on his left hand after breaking a bone.

North End manager Alex Neil said: “We are hoping it is not going to be anything too serious because Scott has really been our main threat over the last month or so.

“It is disappointing for us that he has got an injury.

“The reason for the cast was because he has cracked a bone in his hand.”

PNE manager Alex Neil gives instructions for substitutes Jayden Stockley and Emil Riis at Pride Park

Sinclair had been off the pitch for quite some time by the time North End scored the winner at Pride Park.

They left it very late to break the deadlock, Alan Browne scoring the game’s only goal with six minutes of stoppage-time played.

He curled a fine finish with his left foot into the net after cutting into the box.

Until then it had been a rather frustrating afternoon for PNE against a Derby side reduced to 10 men after just 20 minutes.

Martyn Waghorn saw red for a rash challenge on Browne which caught him on the shin.

Neil felt his side had looked more of a threat in the first half but in the second had laboured somewhat as they struggled to find a way through.

“After the red card Derby went 4-4-1 and I thought we caused them problems getting down the sides,” said Neil.

“Then they went 4-3-2 which was became more problematic – less so because of what Derby did, more because of what we didn’t do.

“I went to a back three to deal with their front two and I put two wingers at wing-back to draw their full-backs out.

“That meant we were two versus two at the top end of the pitch. But to make any formation work you have to move the ball well.

“We didn’t move the ball well enough. In the end, Alan produced that quality which was needed to win the game.

“Alan has scored goals in every year I’ve been here, he is captain of the club and a proper player.”

PNE return to action tomorrow night at Deepdale when they host Coventry.

The season reaches its half-way stage on Saturday when Nottingham Forest are the visitors.

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