Relief for PNE striker Doyle

Eoin Doyle celebrates his goal with Daniel Johnson
Eoin Doyle celebrates his goal with Daniel Johnson
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Eoin Doyle was pleased to lift a weight off his shoulders by scoring Preston’s winner against Nottingham Forest.

However, the striker insists the pressure to find the net had come from within, rather than externally.

“All the front lads here put pressure on ourselves – this last few weeks isn’t something we are not used to,” Doyle told the Evening Post.

“It is our own pressure, we are judged on goals, so it’s been nothing to do with what others have been saying.

“I’m glad to have got off the mark and I’m sure the other lads won’t be far behind.”

Doyle became the first PNE striker to score a league goal this season when he netted in the second minute against Forest on Tuesday night.

The far-post strike was enough to deliver the first home Championship victory of the campaign.

It was a race he won ahead of Joe Garner, Jordan Hugill, Will Keane and Stevie May, all of whom have still to get off the mark in the league.

Said Doyle: “It was good to score nice and early in the game, it took the pressure off the team a bit and gave us something to go at.

“We were actually unlucky not to score a couple of times soon after that – Joe Garner was every close with a header.

“With my goal, I chipped the ball back to Daniel Johnson who had a go at it.

“The ball bounced back to me and I had a shot which caught a bit of deflection and went in the net.

“I love that type of goal, most strikers do, getting close in and picking up the scraps.

“If you are getting in there, you are doing your job properly.

“The Forest game was a massive three points for us. We had put together a good run, got the clean sheets but we needed the home win.

“Hopefully that can stand us in good stead for the games ahead of us.

“Being honest, it was one of our worst performances over the last few weeks but we ground out the win.

“We have played a lot better in other games and not come out with what we deserved, so perhaps this balanced things out a little bit.”

Doyle’s goal came in his fourth successive start, two of them partnering Jordan Hugill and two alongside Garner.

Before then, his opening few weeks at Preston had been a rather stop-start affair.

He was eased in from the bench to start off with, then missed the Capital One Cup clash with Bournemouth as he was cup-tied.

Last month, the terms of his loan move prevented Doyle facing parent club Cardiff.

It is set to be the Doyle and Garner pairing again when North End head to London to face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Doyle said: “A run in the side helps any player and I’m feeling a lot sharper now.

“We’ve got a big game next against a QPR side who are just down from the Premier League.

“They have a great team on paper but if we win there, we go above them in the table.

“We will go there confident but aware that we have to work hard and show the same sort of qualities we have done in the last few weeks.

“At the back we are looking very solid and hopefully a few more goals will start coming.”