Plenty more to come from Billy Bodin says PNE boss Alex Neil

Alex Neil is pleased with Billy Bodin's early form in a Preston North End shirt and says there is plenty more to come from him.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 8th February 2018, 5:00 am

The £500,000 January buy from Bristol Rovers scored his first PNE goal in the victory at Nottingham Forest.

He followed that up with a decent home debut against Hull City – his first four games having all come away.

North End manager Neil said: “Billy has affected the last couple of games and that is the best thing you can do as a forward player.

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Preston North End's Billy Bodin

“You might get 100 touches in a game and nothing comes of them.

“What is more important is that Billy has scored a goal and got two penalties in the last two games.

“Technically he is excellent and I think he will improve as he goes on.

“I still think we have a wee bit of work to do with Billy in terms of locking things in and understanding his role when we press as a team.

Preston North End's Billy Bodin

“He wants to work, he wants to listen and that is what you want as a manager.

“You can see that Billy has listened.”

Bodin, 25, has started all five of his Preston games on the right-wing, that enabling him to cut inside on to his left foot – something he did to good effect at Bristol Rovers.

He netted 37 goals in his two-and-a-half seasons with the Gas, that scoring rate for a player who doesn’t play as an out-and-out striker, being a big attraction to Preston.

Neil likes the options he has out wide, although in the last two games he has used one of those wide players – Callum Robinson – as a striker.

“Callum came through a difficult spell earlier in the season and is now showing what we can do.

“Daryl Horgan can count himself a bit unfortunate not to be in the team as others are playing well at the moment but he is pushing for a start.

“Tom Barkhuizen has come back into form.

“What he has given us is two proper 90 minutes in the last two matches.

“Before that he was playing in fits and starts, not quite as energetic as he should be.

“As we talked about before, Tom was ill for a few weeks and he had some tests.

“Those tests came back fine which is good news.”

Ahead of Saturday’s visit to Brentford, North End will test the fitness of Ben Davies.

The centre-half has been out of action since injuring a hamstring during the 1-1 draw with Birmingham three weeks ago – he came off at half-time .

Neil said: “Ben is touch and go for the weekend, we’ll see how he goes.

“Him and Sean Maguire are the only ones we are without at the moment with injury.”

North End have sold more than 850 tickets for the trip to Brentford, with seating and terracing still available.