Preston boss Alex Neil to rotate his squad in FA Cup clash at Wycombe
Alex Neil will seek to give the Preston team a fresher look in their FA Cup tie at Wycombe tomorrow following the busy Christmas programme.
The PNE manager does not intend fielding a weakened side but is mindful that some players are running close to empty after four matches in 10 days.
One change is likely to be the inclusion of new boy Billy Bodin after his arrival during the week from Bristol Rovers.
But the trip to Adams Park is likely to come too soon for Louis Moult who is carrying a hamstring strain from his time with Motherwell.
Other options to bring fresh energy to the side will come from those who started the New Year’s Day defeat to Middlesbrough on the bench.
They include Alan Browne, Paul Gallagher, John Welsh and Daryl Horgan. Neil is aiming to secure a place in the fourth round but at the same time sees it as a chance to look at different options.
“It gives us the opportunity to look at certain things that otherwise we wouldn’t have because points are at risk,” said Neil.
“What I mean by that is some combinations and have a look at a couple of the other lads. To a point there will be squad rotation but we want to try and win the game.
“By no means am I turning up with a weakened team and thinking I’m not bothered by the result.
“As you know I want to win every game and this one is very important.”
Bodin trained with PNE for the first time yesterday and Neil would have no hesitation in handing him his debut.
He sees Bodin’s arrival, and that of Moult, as real scoops for the club.
“Both lads are coming into their prime, they are 25,” said Neil.
“In the next three, four and fives years they are going to be at their best and we can take advantage of that.
“They are hard-working lads, they have worked their way up the leagues and have not been handed anything on a platter.
“You would be hard pressed to find someone who has scored as many goals from midfield as Billy.
“Equally, Louis’ record in Scotland is fantastic.
“With Billy I’m looking to play him on the right-hand side, coming in on his left foot.
“We’ve got players up there like Tom Barkhuizen, Callum Robinson and Daryl Horgan who can play in a number of positions.
“What we didn’t have was a left-footed forward but Billy brings us that. He has got a good dead-ball delivery and scored more goals in a calendar year than anyone else in League One.
“That makes good reading for us and he’s impressed me when I’ve watched him live.”