Preston supporter John Smith discusses the 2-1 loss at Reading - squad needs a lift

Saturday’s game with Reading provided the opportunity to have a drink and renew acquaintances with fellow North Enders I had not seen since the spectre of Covid-19 reared  its ugly head 18 months ago.

By John Smith
Sunday, 15th August 2021, 2:00 pm

However following a humiliating opening day defeat against a newly promoted side and after watching another lethargic display at Reading a side, I found myself on the journey home questioning the wisdom of spending my hard earned income on watching a team going backwards in a division I think we will be lucky to stay in at the end of the season if things do not change for the better.

While I can appreciate that the season is a marathon and not a sprint the alarming fact for me is that we now find ourselves left in the starting blocks while the rest of the runners have already set off down the road.

Asking Frankie McAvoy, a likeable bloke committed wholeheartedly to the cause, to produce a team to challenge at the top end of the division with no money to spend is like asking a district nurse to perform an operation instead of a qualified surgeon.

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North End's Liam Lindsay (left) brought down by a tackle from Reading's Josh Laurent (right)

This summer the owner’s advisor released what I personally thought was a patronising statement beefing up our results from the last eight games of last season comparing our results to promotion form.

However, in my opinion, there is a lack of quality in this current squad which has for years needed some serious strengthening to replace player such as Jordan Hugill,Callum Robinson,Ben Davies and Ben Pearson.

The lessons from the early years of Trevor Hemmings' ownership appear not to have been learnt and if we keep continually cutting everything to the bone the eventual outcome of this scenario can only be relegation whether it be this season or the next or the one after that.

As I said last week the paying fans deserve so much better. While appreciating the owner is not a bottomless pit some kind of investment is needed if we are not going to eventually return to the dark ages of the 80s and early 90s.

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