This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player View’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer opinion-based outlook on the perspective on the situation at hand…
Preston North End striker Jayden Stockley will be worrying about his future at the club having been left out of Alex Neil’s side in recent matches and with the returning David Nugent starting to come into the side in the last few games.
Stockley enjoyed a promising start to life at Deepdale having arrived from League 2 Exeter City during the last January transfer window, and the 26-year-old striker managed to impress during the second half of last season, scoring three league goals, and helping the Lilywhites climb the Championship table before they eventually finished in 14th place in the table.
However, so far this season Stockley has struggled to sustain his place in the Preston first team making just four appearances in the Championship so far, with the likes of Sean Maguire and Tom Barkhuizen being preferred to the 26-year-old by Neil to start in Preston’s lone forward role.
Stockley’s chances of starting in Preston’s first team have been even further dented by the return to fitness of summer signing David Nugent, who started the Lilywhites 5-1 win against Barnsley at Deepdale on Saturday in their final game before the international break, and the experienced striker performed well linking up with his team-mates and helping to bring them into the game.
That is something that Stockley will need to show that he can offer if he is going to force his way back into Preston’s starting line-up, with the 26-year-old at times not offering enough in terms of his link up play and ability to bring his fellow attacking players into the game, which is something that Neil likes from his forwards wanting them to rotate through good movement in the final third.
The striker showed during his spell at Exeter that he can be reliable scorer when given a lengthy run in the side to get his confidence going, having scored 16 goals in the first half of the season for the League 2 side last term, and Stockley probably needs to come off the bench and score a goal to get his belief back and then manage to force his way back into Neil’s side.
Preston have been in fine scoring form this season so far, with the Lilywhites scoring 23 goals already the most in the division, which suggests that Neil’s side are creating plenty of chances for their forwards and Stockley will need to show, when called upon from the bench, that he can be the player to take those chances in the coming weeks.