Preston boss Alex Neil believes striker Louis Moult is starting to feel at home in the Championship

Alex Neil thinks Preston are steadily getting the benefit of Louis Moult adapting to life in the Championship.

Monday, 22nd October 2018, 6:00 am

The striker came off the bench to net PNE’s last-gasp equaliser against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.

It was the second away game running that Moult had scored, having done so against Aston Villa earlier this month.

He has not had the easiest of times since joining North End from Motherwell in a £450,000 deal in January.

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However, Preston boss Neil says the signs are there that Moult is heading in the right direction.

Neil told the Post: “What we have seen Louis do these last couple of matches is not anything we didn’t know about before.

“I’ve said before that he is a penalty box striker.

“If you get the ball in to him he is going to be dangerous close to goal.

Preston North End's Louis Moult celebrates scoring the equalising goal

“What Louis has done is added being that link for us.

“When he first came, he found that the game down here was quicker and more physical.

“Tall centre-backs up in Scotland are 6ft 1/6f 2, while tall centre-backs in England are 6ft 5.

“What Louis has done is develop the ability to use his body, be the link, be hard to play against. It gives us that platform to build off him.

“I’m delighted for him that he scored, that is the last two away games he has come on and scored crucial goals.

“He did well for the goal, it was a good finish.”

Moult’s goal came with more than three minutes of stoppage-time played.

Hull had taken an 85th minute lead, Jarrod Bowen scoring from the penalty spot after Jordan Storey had fouled Chris Martin.

Neil had injury and illness issues to contend with.

Tom Clarke pulled out with a groin injury, while Callum Robinson was only fit enough for the bench after going down with a virus.

With Tom Barkhuizen nursing an ankle injury and Ben Pearson suspended, it meant numbers were short.

First-year scholar Ethan Walker was rushed over to Hull on Saturday morning and would have been on the bench had Robinson not recovered sufficiently.

Walker, 16, a former pupil at Broughton High School and Cottam Primary, had been due to play in the youth team.

Said Neil: “Callum was ill, Tom Clarke had been ill in the week but trained Friday and we expected him to be fit.

“He woke up with a niggle in his groin, probably due to the fact his body was under the weather.

“Tom Barkhuizen had an injection in his ankle a couple of weeks ago.

“Had Callum not made it, Ethan Walker would have been on the bench, he’s 16.”