Billy Bodin is confident that there is still much more to come from this Preston North End side, even in the aftermath of an impressive 2-2 draw against Sheffield United on Friday afternoon.
Having twice hit the woodwork minutes before the hosts opened the scoring late in the first half, the Lilywhites – amid both sides converting from the penalty spot – forged several more openings after the break but had to wait until the 91st minute for an equaliser as Jayden Stockley headed home from Paul Gallagher’s cross.
Bodin agreed that North End had impressed with their display in South Yorkshire but underlined his view that there are still aspects of their game to iron out before welcoming Swansea City to Deepdale for next weekend’s opening contest in the Championship.
“I think we done well today,” the Welshman told iFollow PNE.
“I think there’s still little things maybe going forward – little passes and the final touches – but I think the more games you play, the more minutes everyone gets – I think that will soon get better and those half chances will be getting put into the back of the net. Even though we played well, I think there’s still a lot more to come from us.”
With the number of chances that they created, the 28-year-old even suggested North End might have scored more goals at Bramall Lane, particularly with Scott Sinclair unfortunate to have hit the woodwork in the first half, while the game was still locked at 0-0.
“It was obviously two of the subs who came on that made the difference. It was a great ball from [Paul Gallagher] Gally and then obviously the big man Jayden [Stockley] putting it away [for the equaliser].
“We had a lot of chances in the second half where the final ball might not have been good enough or people slipped, just little things weren’t going our way and on another day we could have scored a few more.
“It was a great run, I’m not sure how he [Sinclair] ended up getting there! But it was unlucky, he’s obviously hit it across goal, which is what you’re told to do, and it’s bounced back to Barky – sometimes they either go in the top corner or narrowly wide like it did. It was unlucky but on another day that goes in and we’re 1-0 up then.”
Bodin has been largely absent through injury since the turn of the year but has found the pre-season campaign a useful one in allowing him to rebuild his match sharpness.
“I think for me, I was injured from January, came back at the restart and didn’t really play much because I obviously wasn’t match fit. You can do all the running in the world but the main thing is getting minutes on a football pitch.
“Thankfully that’s my second 90 minutes now and I’m feeling a lot better and I’m sure a lot of the lads are as well. The more 90 minutes or 80 minutes, 75, you’re getting, you definitely start feeling a lot better and then that match fitness is there hopefully for when the season starts.”
PNE will face one final pre-season test tomorrow away to Everton, allowing those not involved at Bramall Lane the same opportunity to gain more valuable minutes, that ahead of the visit of Swansea next Saturday – which Bodin admitted everyone is keen to be involved in.
“Everyone wants to be in the team for that first team and there’s another game tomorrow for the other lads. I’m sure they will be working their socks off to try to get in the team.
“I think the lads who played today put in a good shift and that’s our last game now until the season starts. I think everyone did themselves proud today trying to get themselves into the manager’s thoughts. We’ll have to wait and see and everyone will be working hard to get into that team.”
Watch more from Billy on iFollow PNE.