Louis Moult's final-day goal a big boost says Preston boss Alex Neil

Preston manager Alex Neil was pleased to see Louis Moult on the scoresheet after a tough first few months at Deepdale.

Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 7:00 am

Moult side-footed PNE’s stoppage-time winner against Burton on Sunday after being played in by Ben Pearson.

It was only his second goal for the club since joining from Motherwell in January.

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Louis Moult is congratulated by Callum Robinson after scoring against Burton

Big things were expected of Moult with him having scored 13 goals in 22 appearances in Scotland during the first half of the campaign.

However, he has mainly had to watch from the bench, making only three starts in the Championship.

The 25-year-old scored at the weekend after coming off the bench in the 81st minute.

That was the seventh time he had come off the bench in league action.

Neil admits the timing of Moult’s signing made things difficult for the striker, in his view January being a difficult time to move clubs.

“I thought Louis did well when he came on, he held the ball up well and linked the game well,” said Neil.

“That was pleasing for him as was the goal of course.

“I think the difficultly we have always got is that I don’t really like making signings in January, particularly if they haven’t played at the level we are at.

“He came from a different type of football and came with an injury as well.

“Billy Bodin too played at a lower level before we brought him in here.

“The standard we play to here is very different.

“To try and get them up to speed is tough when you get them during the season.

“I like to get as much work done as I can in the summer.

“You then get the time to work with the players which sets you up hopefully for what can be a successful season.”

Moult, who turns 26 next week, was signed at the start of January in anticipation of Jordan Hugill leaving.

Hugill was sold to West Ham at the end of the winter window in a £9.5m deal.

Still carrying a hamstring injury sustained while with Motherwell, Moult had to wait three weeks for his North End debut.

After Hugill’s sale, Callum Robinson got the nod to lead the PNE attack, with Moult briefly paired next to him.

Sean Maguire returned from a long-term injury to give another option up front.

Maguire finished as PNE’s top Championship scorer with 10 goals – Hugill netted 10 but two of those came in the League Cup.

Tom Barkhuizen finished the season with eight goals in the league.

He was the only Preston player to feature in all 46 Championship games – 43 of those being starts.

Alan Browne scored nine goals, seven in the league and two in the FA Cup.