With Pompey chasing Preston striker Eoin Doyle, The News spoke to Lancashire Evening Post reporter Dave Seddon to get the inside track on the Irishman’s Deepdale displays...
Eoin Doyle has played in a variety of attacking roles for Preston but is now out of favour at Deepdale, where he has never really hit it off in two spells.
If Pompey could get him on loan in League Two, though, he would absolutely rip it up in the right position – you’d be looking at double figures.
It’s strange really, Doyle didn’t set the world on fire on loan here from Cardiff last season – he got four league goals and was in and out of the team quite a lot.
So it was a bit of a surprise when he signed a three-year contract in the summer.
Manager Simon Grayson said he was the best finisher in training, though, so obviously he saw something in him.
But this season has been frustratingly similar to last for Doyle, who has mainly been used from the bench.
He scored in a couple of EFL Cup games and came on as a sub to net his first and only Championship goal of the season at Sheffield Wednesday, with his first touch, last month.
Then he got sent off for fighting with Jermaine Beckford – his own team-mate – a few minutes later!
He’s never really quite done it here but Preston obviously chased the potential he showed when he was in League One at Chesterfield – they were beaten to his signature by Cardiff two January’s ago.
His record for the Spireites was 21 goals in half a season in League One – he does know where the goal is in the right system.
And if it was his former Chesterfield Paul Cook who got him on loan at Pompey – he would certainly know how to get the best out of him.
Doyle’s last league start for Preston, though, was at Burton on January 2, where he played in a wide-right role in a 4-3-3 system that turned into more of a 4-5-1.
And he has failed to even claim a place on the bench for the last two games.
To be frank, most North End fans would say that if he was played down the middle as a main striker – that is where you would get the best out of him.
He’s not had too many chances to play there, though.
But if he was to be played up front as a central striker I have no doubt he would score.
He is a finisher.
The goals he has scored for North End have mainly been poacher’s finishes – six-yard box goals.
That’s where his next team need to get the service to him.