Preston North End remain well in the hunt to finish inside the Championship play-off positions with nine games remaining of their season.
Due to recent events, the EFL have announced that all fixtures have been postponed until 3rd April at the earliest, although that could be pushed back further due to off-the-field matters.
Alex Neil’s side have struggled for positive performances in recent weeks, and will be hoping that the break from action can see them recapture their best form when they get their league campaign back underway.
In our latest FLW Six-Pointer, we look into Preston’s season so far, and what they can hope for in their remaining nine league games.
How would you sum-up Preston North End’s season so far?
“It’s been an impressive league campaign so far, but they need to be careful.
“Preston are currently sat sixth in the Championship table, but have a number of sides vying for their position heading into the final nine games of the season.
“They’re already showing signs of cracking under the pressure as well, which will make for concerning reading for the club’s supporters.
“They need to remain focused and not get ahead of themselves, as nothing is confirmed in March.”
Who have been the standout players for Alex Neil’s side?
“Daniel Johnson and Patrick Bauer have both stood out at both ends of the pitch and will be key to any hopes that Preston have of finishing inside the play-off places this term.
“Johnson has 11 goals and six assists to his name this season, whilst Tom Barkhuizen and Paul Gallagher have also chipped in with notable contributions.
“Alex Neil will be hoping that he can keep his key players fit for the remainder of this year’s campaign, otherwise they could struggle.”
What has their recent form been like?
“Their recent form is a real worry at the moment.
“The Lilywhites went unbeaten for a month between January and February, but they’ve been poor in recent matches, which has seen the play-off chasing sides around them in the table close in.
“Alex Neil’s side have lost their last three league games, with defeats against West Brom and Fulham being followed by a shocking performance against ten-men QPR, where the Hoops ran out 3-1 winners at Deepdale in their last match.
“Something needs to change, and fast.”
Is their away form a concern?
“Their away form is a huge concern going forward.
“Even though the Lilywhites have been hugely impressive at Deepdale for much of this season, their away form has been a real disappointment.
“Preston are currently sat 15th in the away form league table, which shows that there is certainly room for improvement heading towards the conclusion of this year’s campaign.
“They must improve on their travels, otherwise they can forget about winning promotion into the Premier League.”
What must they do to get back to winning ways in the Championship?
“They have to find consistency in their performances at the earliest of opportunities.
“Preston have shown earlier in this year’s campaign that they can challenge most teams in this division on their day, but they’ve been far too inconsistent of late.
“Alex Neil will be relying on his key players to step up to the mark as soon as possible, and with games against the likes of Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday coming up, it’s the perfect opportunity for Preston to put together a strong run of form heading into the final few months of this season.”
Do they have what it takes to finish inside the play-off places this season?
“I think they do have what it takes to finish inside the top-six, but it depends on if they can recapture their best form.
“Alex Neil and his squad will know that performances of late haven’t been anywhere near good enough if they’re to be taken seriously as play-off contenders in the Championship this season.
“They have a somewhat favourable run-in towards the end of this year’s campaign though, and they need to make sure they pick up wins at home, and make themselves tough to beat on their travels.
“If they can do that, then I have no doubt in my mind that they’ll finish inside the top-six.”
Are these Preston North End statements true or false?