Millwall boss identifies Preston player to watch

NEIL Harris has warned Millwall they face a side similar to themselves this weekend – and one that possesses an “outstanding” centre-forward.

Jordan Hugill has scored four goals in nine games this season, including one in last weekend’s 3-1 win at Birmingham that saw Harry Redknapp sacked and lifted Preston up to fourth in the Championship table.

Hugill, 25, was a latecomer to the professional game. He joined Glenn Hoddle’s academy in Spain at 18, before spells in non-league football when he also worked as a barman.

He joined Port Vale in 2013 and moved to Preston a year later.

Preston are unbeaten at home in the league this season under Alex Neil, who took over from Simon Grayson in the summer, and Harris outlined the challenge his side will face on Saturday.

“Preston are direct, very similar to Millwall. They can play direct up to Hugill who is an outstanding player up front,” Harris said.

“They have real pace and energy in their legs, they can play through the lines, they’ve got some quality footballers.

“They’re very aggressive in their approach, they’re a big side.

“They have a good young manager, Alex Neil, who has performed well in Scotland and obviously at Norwich.

“It’s going to be a real stern test for us and, probably in a lot of ways – and it might surprise some people considering we’ve just come off the back of playing Wolves, Norwich and Leeds – our toughest test of them all.

“Going to Deepdale is a tough place to go. It’s a long trip and these are a real battling side.

“We’ve got to raise our standards again in many different ways this weekend.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly