Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Wycombe Wanderers left Alex Neil, and fans alike, in a state of gloom.
The Lilywhites have seen their play-off ambitions squashed in recent weeks, with defeat in Buckinghamshire seemingly eliminating the possibility of a late charge.
Frustration has been the overriding emotion within the Preston camp of late, but with the club seemingly confined to mid-table mediocrity, it provides Alex Neil with more time to prepare for next season’s objectives.
Home form is something that will need to be addressed ahead of next season.
The Lilywhites are a club that has been struck by the loss of home dominance without fans and will be hopeful that a full Deepdale will be the push they need come next season.
In preparation for next season, Neil has a lot of key decisions to make.
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Daniel Iverson, Jayson Molumby, Anthony Gordon, Liam Lindsay, and Sepp van den Berg, have all impressed since arriving on loan in January.
However, if the club are unable to bring any of the five back for next season, they will need to be busy in the transfer window.
Scott Sinclair, Patrick Bauer, Tom Barkhuizen, Jordan Storey, Andrew Hughes, and Brad Potts are also out of contract next summer.
With each player still integral to Neil’s plans, the club will be prioritising their attempts of striking new deals with the six players as soon as possible.
The extra time spent focusing on next season will certainly benefit James Beet – the club’s newly appointed senior recruitment analyst.
Formerly of Barnsley, the acquisition of Beet is an exciting addition.
When it comes to recruitment, the Tykes are up there with the very best. Several exciting young prospects have been snapped up by the Yorkshire club in recent years and are now playing a starring role in Barnsley’s unexpected yet fully deserved promotion push.
The Lilywhites also possess a rather ageing squad and would benefit from an injection of youthful talent arriving at the club.
Whilst it remains unseen what power Beet will hold at Preston, it is certainly exciting for the club who have made just three permanent signings in the last three transfer windows.
Time is definitely on the club’s side and they should be using it wisely.
Recruitment plays a massive part in modern-day football and when done right, the rewards can be extraordinary.