Preston’s Darnell Fisher shortlisted for player of the month award

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Darnell Fisher’s promising start to his time at Preston has won praise from Alex Neil and been recognised with a player of the month nomination.

The PNE right-back is on the shortlist for the Sky Bet Championship player of the month award.

Darnell Fisher has been nominated for the Championship player of the month award

Darnell Fisher has been nominated for the Championship player of the month award

He started all five of North End’s league games in August in which they kept four clean sheets.

Fisher is nominated with Billy Sharp (Sheffield United), Martyn Waghorn (Ipswich) and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Cardiff) for the award.

Sky Bet will announce the winner tomorrow morning.

PNE boss Neil is pleased with how the low-cost buy from Rotherham has settled in at Deepdale.

“I think Darnell has been first-class since he came in,” said Neil.

“Last season I managed to see Darnell play three or four times for Rotherham and he was excellent every time.

“I saw him when he was as a kid at Celtic too, so I knew what type of character he was.

“He is a difficult player to get past – in one-on-one duels he is excellent.

“Darnell is really focused, really determined and very hungry to do well.

“I think he has been a great addition to the squad.”

Neil believes the attacking side of Fisher’s game is a work in progress.

He sees him as being in a similar mould to left-back Greg Cunningham in that first and foremost, they are both solid defenders.

Said Neil: “I still think we can improve the forward side of the game for him.

“He goes forward second after defending if you like, which is a bit different to the modern-day full-back.

“Darnell is different to Marnick Vermijl – Marnick is more of an aggressive full-back who wants to get 
forward and has got really good legs in terms of stepping into the game.

“I would say Darnell is a bit more like Greg Cunningham on the other side.

“In one-versus-one, both are excellent and before Greg was injured that gave us a solid foundation to build on.”

Ahead of PNE’s return to action on Saturday against Barnsley, Neil reported no major fitness concerns.

Stephy Mavididi was back at Springfields yesterday, the Arsenal loanee having been on duty with England Under-20s.

Mavididi scored in their 3-0 win over Holland last week but did not feature in Monday night’s goalless draw in 
Switzerland.

Daryl Horgan reports in later today, having been an unused sub in the Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 defeat to Serbia on Tuesday.

Neil said: “The lads have been okay up until this point, fingers crossed things stay fine so we can get ready to play Barnsley.”