We’re paying price for not strengthening attack in summer says Preston North End Fans’ Panel’s John Roper

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Failure to convert chances once again cost North End the win in what turned out to be quite a battle of attrition against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s.

Both sides had a couple of good chances to win the game and to be fair, both paid the price for poor finishing.

Having said that both goalkeepers made a two excellent saves with one from Iversen at the start of the second half absolutely outstanding from a Colin shot.

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PNE were once again very direct in their approach, particularly in the first half, with the idea of turning the Birmingham centre-backs around but it didn’t really work enough for my liking and I would have like to have seen Whiteman and Ledson creating more from the middle of the park.

North End’s Josh Earl in action with Birmingham City’s ex-PNE loanee Chuks AnekeNorth End’s Josh Earl in action with Birmingham City’s ex-PNE loanee Chuks Aneke
North End’s Josh Earl in action with Birmingham City’s ex-PNE loanee Chuks Aneke

Both sides were guilty on many occasions of the crosses being cut out by the first man and although North End were good value for the point on a better finishing day we would have taken all three.

Frankie McAvoy kept the same side for the fifth consecutive league game and while we remain unbeaten in that period, the last four games have been draws and consequently we are heading south in the league table instead of heading north.

We started well enough at St Andrew’s and took the game to Birmingham in the early stages, however a Deeney header made the away following of 1,188 gasp as it flew past the post.

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At the other end a Maguire chance looped over the bar and Josh Earl breezed in from the left only to see his shot saved by Sarkic in the Blues’ goal.

Sarkic was in action again when he saved well from an excellent Riis chance and another effort from Maguire went sailing across goal to safety.

No changes from Preston at the break and as in the first half we came out the quicker and started to put the home side under pressure. A series of early corners and a shout for handball were all to no avail and, at the other end, Iversen pulled of a world class save from Colin.

With twenty minutes to go North End brought off Whiteman and Maguire and replaced them with McCann and Murphy.

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McCann looked comfortable in the middle of the park but Murphy has yet to make the impact we were hoping for. So that is eight games without defeat, six of them being in the league.

The problem at the moment is not really the series of draws that we have had but the poor start to the season which has meant we are playing catch-up.

To be honest North End are playing well enough with the squad we have and although we seem to be saying it every week we just made the wrong decision in the transfer window when it came to strengthening the forward department.

Nevertheless a point at St Andrew’s is never a point lost but we really do just need that additional win.

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It was a little bit too much route-one for the purist in my opinion but Frankie has the team playing solidly in a formation that they are now used to, but oh how we missed a trick in the summer not strengthening the attack.