January buys Jayden Stockley and Brad Potts catch the eye on their Preston North End debuts
Alex Neil was encouraged by the debuts of Preston new boys Jayden Stockley and Brad Potts in the Deepdale draw with Swansea City.
The Lilywhites boss pitched them both in for the full 90 minutes of the 1-1 draw and says there is plenty more to come from them.
Stockley in particular caught the eye up front, with Potts starting on the right side of midfield before switching inside later in the contest.
New keeper Connor Ripley was on the bench having only had one training session with his new team-mates, while Josh Ginnelly didn’t make the match day squad.
“Individually the new lads did fine,” said Neil.
“I thought Jayden did really well at the top end of the pitch, he was a handful.
“But I think we will learn to play around him better and get the best out of him more than we did on Saturday.
“Brad grew into the game, as it opened up and the space opened up you could see his legs getting him into those gaps and get stronger.
“The two lads are still learning about us and we are still learning about them.
“Our lads need to get used to playing with that type of player because we have been without that type for such a long time.
“We are still looking for players, we need to make sure we finish the window with as strong a squad as possible.”
Both goals on Saturday came five minutes apart, a slick move from the visitors finished close in by Courtney Baker-Richardson.
Daniel Johnson equalised from the penalty spot after an hour, a Stockley cross having been handled by Swansea left-back Connor Roberts.
North End slipped a place to 18th position but the gap to the bottom three remains at seven points.
Neil admitted the game had been far from a classic, North End now without a win since December 15,
“In the first half it was a case of us cancelling them out,” said Neil.
“Swansea opened the pitch up and tried to get between the lines.
“With the players we had on the pitch, that wasn’t a strength of ours – not really something we could do.
“If you look at Alan Browne, Tom Barkhuizen and Brad who were the three playing behind Jayden, their biggest strength is to put the ball in front of them and run.
“I didn’t come away from the game thinking it was great but we were effective.
“We did what we needed to do, we controlled in the main Swansea’s threat.
“In the first half we had the problem of their wide players getting behind our midfield.
“Swansea have good wide players in Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge who have played in the Premier League.”