Problems Mounting For Preston

Alex Neil has no indication of his best eleven or his favoured formation. Against attacking sides he appears to favour 5 at the back and on Saturday he lined up with this approach although the significant change was a line up without Clarke.

Storey was given his first league start alongside Huntington and Davies. Hughes and Fisher played as wingbacks whilst Ledson and Pearson played as defensive midfielders. Enough defensive players to stop conceding goals? Think again.

For the first forty five minutes Preston actual held their own. They played some nice football. Again, all good around the edges with no finishing touches whilst it was clear that West Brom were a side that contained vast amounts of Premier League experience.

The game unfolded very quickly in the second half. Preston have failed to play a full ninety minutes without a defensive mistake or hiccup somewhere along the line.

The goal was simple. A ball was played in from the right without much pressure and Rodriguez barely had to move as he nodded home. It was nothing unfamiliar in this poor start to the season.

Preston were soon back in the game. They were awarded a free kick just outside the box to the right hand side. Hughes fooled everyone as he curled the ball into the bottom corner.

Moments aFter Preston were behind. They were a tad unfortunate as a right wing cross ballooned off the head of Davies and over Maxwell into the back of the net.

West Brom took the initiative and never looked like letting Preston back into the game. There were some odd substitutions as Preston played without a recognised striker for a while until Moult came on.

The visitors sealed the game with a late free kick from just outside the box. Gayle curled in and Maxwell could only push the ball into the net for the victory.

North End did claw one back through Alan Browne at the death but it was nothing more than a consolation after half the crowd had already disappeared.

It is clear that West Brom have vast amounts of experience and Premier League quality players compared to Preston. North End may not come up against another team like it but the manner of the goals was consistent with the rest of the season.

Neil looked to blame the referee for a potential red card on Gibbs but in reality it is unlikely that Preston would have held out to a ten man West Brom.

The problems are obvious. North End create chances and despite lacking a decent centre forward do seem to have the capability of scoring against most teams. The issue is that Preston are so open defensively that they are conceding goals at an alarming rate.

The manager has always played a high pressing attack minded game. It cost him his job at Norwich and he needs to start turning things around at Deepdale as there is much discontentment around the club at the moment.

Preston travel to Villa on Tuesday before facing Wigan at home on Saturday.