Exclusive Sean Gregan Preston North End column: No need to panic
The hardest thing in football is scoring goals and that's why strikers attract the big money.
Sean Maguire had been on fire and looked like he would be a really big player for Preston this season.
Losing him to injury was a blow, as we’ve seen in the two defeats away from home this week at Norwich at Derby.
It will be interesting to see what they do in the final few days of the transfer window.
They haven’t got the money seemingly to go and pay big loan fees and wages.
I know they’ve looked to Ireland and the lower leagues recently but if you don’t score goals, you don’t win games, it’s as simple as that.
That’s what they found in what are two tough away games on paper, even if coming away with nothing and not scoring is obviously disappointing.
Last season they proved they could pick up points anywhere with some big results and big performances on the road.
There’s no need to panic though, it’s still early days in the season.
You look at 10 to 12 games as a good gauge. A quarter of the season is gone and you know where you’re going to be. You get a pretty good idea if there’s a tough season ahead, if you’re going to be in and around the play-offs or going to be up there.
Games come thick and fast around this time.
They’ve had a bad week and will need to try and learn from it and build on it.
It’s important to quickly look to the next one and try and kickstart their season.
It’s Leeds next in the League Cup and they are flying at the moment.
They’ll probably make a few changes and Preston may make less changes because they want to win the game and get a bit of confidence into the players.
When you’ve had a bad week you just need to get a result, whether that be in the cup or the league.
The next game is the biggest one when you’ve lost two on bounce.
After Leeds it’s Bolton at Deepdale, which is another big game to look forward to and I’m sure if they can get to the international break having picked a few points up they then things will be looking a lot rosier.
Those breaks can come at good and bad times.
If you’re flying you just want to keep playing but with the run Preston have been on it gives you chance to regroup.
They might also be able to get a few players back fit.
The division is getting tougher because the pot of gold for clubs in the Championship is massive.
It used to be the big-hitters buying the top clubs in the Premier League. But the businessmen are looking for clubs to invest in with a good infrastructure in the Championship because you’ll get it for £50m or £60m cheaper and then can invest in big transfer fees and wages to try and get up that way.
Preston probably over-achieved last year by getting so close to the play-offs but expectations are high.
It is only early days but I believe in the manager, I think he’s the right man and I’m sure he’ll turn it around.