Scott Sinclair hopefully finding his form ahead of Preston North End's Championship return
Scott Sinclair finding the net in some style in the weekend friendly with Burnley offered much encouragement ahead of Preston North End’s return to Championship action.
PNE could do with Sinclair being wonderful and magical in the coming weeks as they chase a play-off place and a crack at reaching the Premier League.
Sinclair has not really caught fire since January’s move from Celtic, bar that fine goal he scored in February’s 1-1 draw with Swansea City at Deepdale.
His movement for the goal against Burnley on Saturday had some hallmarks of the Swansea goal by all accounts.
The finish was different in that he took the ball around Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope to score, whereas against Swansea he curled home a shot from just inside the box.
Much was anticipated of Sinclair when PNE secured his signature five months ago.
The attacker came with a big reputation having scored regularly through his career.
He’d scored 62 goals in his three-and-a-half year stay at Celtic.
Although Sinclair’s stays at Manchester City and Aston Villa didn’t work out, he had been prolific in his Swansea days, firing 27 goals in the season they were promoted to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs.
Sinclair netted a hat-trick in the play-off final, having an eye for the big occasion.
He has so far played 11 times for PNE, seven starts and four appearances off the bench.
His debut was as a late sub at Blackburn, then came a run of seven starts.
For North End’s last three games before the season was put on hold, Sinclair cameon as a sub.
With a burst of nine games in 33 days, the full squad will no doubt be needed.
It must be hoped that Sinclair is one of the players to really step up and display his undoubted talent.
Coming off the wing or playing centrally, he has a lot to offer – pace, trickery and an eye for goal.
Hopefully PNE will be able to look back on January through to March as Sinclair’s settling-in period, with him showing his talent on a consistent basis.
Alex Neil’s side need to find their mojo going forward.
The five games before the country locked down, saw PNE beaten in four of them.
Two of the three goals they scored in that run came from the penalty spot, Alan Browne’s headed winner against Hull the exception.