Preston’s Callum Robinson ends long wait for Deepdale goal

Callum Robinson watches his header beat Middlesbrough goalkeeper Darren Randolph on New Year's Day
Callum Robinson watches his header beat Middlesbrough goalkeeper Darren Randolph on New Year's Day
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Callum Robinson ended a nine-month wait for a goal at Deepdale when he scored in Preston’s New Year’s Day clash with Middlesbrough.

The 22-year-old had not scored at home since April 4 but had found the net at Hull City and Bristol City this season.

Robinson met a cross from Tom Barkhuizen to net PNE’s first goal against Boro, the move coming straight from kick-off after the visitors had gone in front.

He angled a header back across goalkeeper Darren Randolph after meeting the cross at the far post.

North End boss Alex Neil had restored Robinson to the starting XI for the Boro game.

Injury saw him miss the Boxing Day clash against Barnsley, though he 
returned to the bench for the 1-0 victory at Cardiff City.

Neil was pleased to see Robinson on the scoresheet.

“Callum did well at times in the Middlesbrough game,” said Neil.

“It was a great goal from him and he had a good effort which the goalkeeper made a great save from.

“There are little things he can brush up on in the final third in terms of his delivery and decision making.

“Callum is a young player, he is improving and realises what I want from him.

“He is part of a young team here which is improving.

“On Monday we played a Middlesbrough side which had been assembled for about £70m.

“Yet in the first half they couldn’t get a touch of the ball against us.”

Robinson’s goal against Boro was his 14th for Preston since signing permanently from Aston Villa in July 2016.

In his three previous loan spells with the club, he had found the net nine times.

It is likely that Robinson will stay in the side for the FA Cup third-round clash with Wycombe on Saturday.

Neil is likely to adopt some squad rotation after the busy Christmas period.