Alex Neil still looking to add a striker to his Preston squad before deadline

Alex Neil says Preston are working hard behind the scenes to do more transfer business before the deadline.

Monday, 30th July 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th July 2018, 10:32 am

The Lilywhites manager has spoken consistently over the course of pre-season of his desire to add another player to the squad.

Much of their incoming business was done by the third week of June, with five new faces coming in.

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Preston North End manager Alex Neil

But a sixth – a striker is top of the wish-list – was always going to take longer to do.

Neil told the Post: “At the moment there is nothing new to report.

“We know that we need to get a bit of business done and it is certainly not for the lack of trying.

“The problem we have is that a lot of things are out of our hands.

“Everything is tied in with other clubs.

“You can’t just rock up and say ‘we’ll take him, thank you every much’.

“It’s not as easy as that, I wish it was.

“You sometimes have to wait for things to happen at other clubs.”

With Neil wanting another striker in the squad, he could have done without an injury scare for Sean Maguire.

The Irish frontman felt his hamstring tighten during the first half of PNE’s 3-0 win over Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park on Saturday.

Maguire was replaced in the 24th minute by Louis Moult who went on to score the opening goals early in the second half.

Daryl Horgan fired a fine second goal from outside the box, Paul Gallagher netting a the third on the rebound after his penalty had been saved.

Neil was not too concerned by Maguire’s early exit, the early diagnosis being a tight hamstring.

The striker didn’t look in much discomfort as he came off the pitch but will need to be assessed ahead of the QPR game this weekend.

Neil admitted that PNE’s first-half display had been a disappointment to him, with the second half much better.

“We didn’t earn the right to play in the first half, “ said Neil.

“Hopefully what that will have done is re-focus the mind, show that you cannot under-perform and skate through a game to get a result.

“At half-time I made some changes, some of which were scheduled and some weren’t.

“We needed a reaction and I think we got one.

“I can’t really compare the second half to the first half as Oldham took off their striker at half-time who had been the cause of our problems.

“We didn’t have to cope with him in the second half which changed things.

“It should register with us that we are not at the stage where we can take out foot off the gas and think we will stroll home – we need to be at it and we weren’t in the first half.”