Time to strike while PNE ace Joe is banned

Jordan Hugill is congratulated after scoring in PNE's cup tie with Bournemouth
Jordan Hugill is congratulated after scoring in PNE's cup tie with Bournemouth
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Four Preston North End strikers will be looking to press a claim for a regular start in the absence of the suspended Joe Garner over the coming weeks.

Garner starts a three-game ban this weekend, the legacy of his red card in the 1-1 draw with Wolves last Saturday.

The top scorer for the last two seasons will not be available until the October 24 visit to Brighton.

So the baton has now been passed to Jordan Hugill, Will Keane, Stevie May and Eoin Doyle in terms of stepping in to lead the line.

The Lilywhites head into October without any of their front men having scored a goal in the Championship.

Of their six league goals, Daniel Johnson has scored four, with Paul Gallagher and Neil Kilkenny on target.

Hugill (2) and Keane have found the net in the Capital One Cup but when it comes to the league, the strikers are on a barren run.

North End will be without Garner for Saturday’s visit to Sheffield Wednesday, the home game with Cardiff on October 17 and the away clash with Charlton three days later.

PNE boss Simon Grayson said: “It is disappointing that we are going to be without Joe for three games.

“Him being suspended now gives someone else the opportunity to impression.

“We have got good strength in depth when you consider Stevie May and Eoin Doyle didn’t even come on in the Wolves game.

“Jordan Hugill has played well after coming on in the last couple of games.

“I thought Will Keane was outstanding last week against Bournemouth and did well again on Saturday in difficult circumstances.”

Grayson has tried various combinations of strikers in a bid to get them scoring. At Brentford, Garner, May and Doyle all started.

It was Keane and May in the Bournemouth tie, with Hugill joining the action as a sub and getting on the scoresheet.

Garner and Keane started against Wolves, a pairing which was broken up within 20 minutes by Garner’s red card.

Keane continued as a lone striker until the 65th minute when Hugill took that mantle.

May will obviously be keen to start on Saturday – it was the Owls who sold him to PNE after just one season at Hillsborough.

You cannot ignore Hugill’s claims either, as he has impacted well from the bench.

The clash with Wednesday will form part of a 6,602-mile road trip for North End in the Championship this season.

Research done by JustPark shows that if a Preston fan drove to every league game, they would spend £1,075 and be on the road for 112 hours.

The longest trip of the season comes next month with a first ever visit to league leaders Brighton’s Amex Stadium.

That is a 568-mile round-trip by car, taking around eight-and-a-half hours.

In total, Championship clubs and their supporters will travel a total of 155,000 miles this season.

Brighton have the most travelling to do, with 8,758 miles on the clock by the end of the season.

Derby will spend the least time on the road, covering 4,914 miles from their East Midlands starting-point.

JustPark is a parking app which allows football fans to book cut-price parking spaces on local driveways when attending matches.

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