VIDEO: PNE boss Alex Neil taking his time to assess squad

Chris Maxwell played the full 90 minutes at Edgeley Park
Chris Maxwell played the full 90 minutes at Edgeley Park

Alex Neil will not make ‘snap judgements’ on the Preston squad ahead of dipping into the transfer market.

The Lilywhites manager acknowledges that incoming business has to be done but wants to fully assess those players he has available at the moment.

Saturday’s 2-1 win against Stockport at Edgeley Park came on the back of a tough few days’ work in Ireland, Neil getting a good idea of what he has inherited in both training and the pre-season friendly.

However, the assessment period is likely to stretch for a little longer.

Neil told the Post: “I think the difficulty at the moment in terms of the transfer market is that it is hard to bring people in until I have assessed what I have got.

“I have had a week on the training pitch and Saturday’s game – what I don’t want to do is make snap judgements on people and be unfair to them.

“However, I am aware the window is ticking down, so we will be making assessments and judgements certainly over the next week or two.”

One piece of business Neil did complete at the weekend was the addition of Frankie McAvoy to his staff.

McAvoy joins as a coach and has not specifically been given the No.2 role.

Said Neil: “When I got the job I was told I could bring a member of staff with me.

“I worked with Frankie at Hamilton and Norwich, we had good success together in terms of getting two teams up.

“We have a good balance in that I’m the shouter, the angry one, while he is passive, calm, a give-them-a-cuddle type!

“Frankie was taking the youth team at Hamilton when I was a player there.

“When I took the Hamilton job, he became my assistant.

“There’s Steve Thompson too who has been here for a good amount of time – he has been excellent since I came in and I’m sure we will all work well together.”

Callum Robinson and Tom Barkhuizen scored Preston’s goals at Stockport, a game in which Neil fielded different teams in either half.

Only Chris Maxwell played 90 minutes due to an injury to Declan Rudd.

Neil said: “Declan has a thigh strain and shouldn’t be too long – he has got no pain in resistance, which is good.

“He can start to build up his strength now and the only issue with Declan is that as a keeper, you need to be able to kick the ball 60 to 70 yards.

“So that will delay him a bit but he’s in good nick.

“We’ve not got John Welsh at the moment, he’s got a shoulder injury which has been pinned.

“He’s doing a lot of fitness work but less contact.

“Calum Woods has got a 
really small grade one tear in his groin which means a few days out but nothing more.”