Prolific Cannon at the double to enhance Preston's promotion hopes

07/04/2023 22comments  |  Jump to last

Tom Cannon scored both goals for Preston North End as the Lancashire side beat Queens Park Rangers 2-0 today, bringing the Lancashire club to within two points of the playoff places in the Championship.

Cannon's brace took his tally to five goals in his last five games and six overall in his last seven, including an assist, as his loan move from Everton to Deepdale continues to pay dividends for all concerned.

While his fellow Finch Farm graduate Ellis Simms was recalled from loan at Sunderland in January, 20-year-old Cannon went the other way to the Championship by securing a loan switch to Preston for the remainder of the season.

He had broken into the first-team either side of the break for the World Cup, coming on as a substitute in both games at Bournemouth and then making his home debut against Wolves but the decision was taken the following month to send him out on loan.

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That has been to Preston's benefit as they have now lost just one of their last eight games, with Cannon racking up the goals to propel the Lilywhites to eighth place with six games to play.


Reader Comments (22)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 07/04/2023 at 19:45:17
PNE local beat reporter rating on our youngster.'

Tom Cannon - 9

His goals ultimately won the game for Preston and that composure and class in the final third is gold dust. His header was emphatic and the second as clinical as it gets. To produce those two moments after a quiet first half, shows the confidence and focus in him.

And that's 6 in the last 8 for Tom.

With 4 games to go, PNE is now 2-3 points off the last 2 playoff positions.

Si Pulford
2 Posted 07/04/2023 at 19:53:26
Great for his development but you can’t help feel he’d have been an option off the bench.
Terry Davies
3 Posted 07/04/2023 at 19:59:55
I couldn't agree more. Lewis Warrington, Niels Nkounkou, Tom Cannon. Who the hell is arranging these loans???

Sorry, the answer comes to me as I type. We've probably not had a manager in situ long enough to make an evaluation!!!

Ed Prytherch
4 Posted 07/04/2023 at 20:05:20

Tom Cannon would not have scored these goals if he had not gone out on loan and his chances of first-team football at Everton were not good at the time. I think that it was a great move to loan him to Preston.

Robert Tressell
5 Posted 07/04/2023 at 20:31:40
I'm with you on this one, Ed. Cannon is thriving because he is getting game time at the right level.

That's the point of the loan.

If he were competing with Simms and Maupay for the very limited minutes they are getting it would do none of them any good.

What's more interesting to me is just how far Cannon has come on in the past year. I'll be honest, I thought he looked very lightweight and average at U23 level when I first saw him. Seemed to offer very little – less than the likes of Sambou and Mampala (and the guy who went to Kilmarnock? whose name I can't remember).

But this season he seemed to be so much more physical and aggressive and found an extra yard of pace. Not many manage this so it's a credit to him for (presumably) working really hard to get better.

Credit too, because he seems to be the star loan performer at Preston ahead of the highly rated Parrott (Spurs) and Delap (Man City).

Brilliant for his confidence and who knows could challenge for first-team appearances next season.

Fran Mitchell
6 Posted 07/04/2023 at 20:32:32
Excellent to see him excelling. He's developing and getting better with each game.

Credit to him, and he looks to have the raw skills to make it as a top-level goalscorer.

A whole season on loan next year would probably be the best move, if he could have a season where he gets 20+ goals in The Championship, he would really be able to make the step up and demand a key role.

It would have been much better for both Price and Mills to have got some first-team Championship experience also.

Here's hoping Simms and Cannon & Co can save us (or make us) millions.

James Flynn
7 Posted 07/04/2023 at 22:25:03
Cannon's goals today:
Mike Gaynes
8 Posted 07/04/2023 at 22:40:33
Thanks for posting, James. That's a professional scorer.
James Flynn
9 Posted 07/04/2023 at 23:39:44
No problem, Mike.

This boy has every predator's instinct you look for. That's for sure. And he is skillful.

Tom's just turned 20, so no prediction from me. But he's looking a legit prospect.

Jeff Armstrong
10 Posted 07/04/2023 at 00:03:54
Robert 5, I get where your coming from, but Tom was looking good pre season and was on the bench and pitch for a few minutes under Lampard for a reason, he had started to have a bit of swagger about him and was knocking them in from all angles for the U21’s.

I still think he should have stayed here in January and he would have given us a different option up front than we have now, which is Simms, Gray and Maupay.

DCL was injured when he went on loan,

and no other striker was signed.

I think he would have got games here and thrived, easy to say in hindsight I know but he looked like he could, and he is now doing it a league below.

No surprise.

Sam Hoare
11 Posted 08/04/2023 at 09:05:29
Fran@6 agreed, it’s a big step up from championship to the PL. Let’s not forget that Rhian Brewster, Dwight Gayle and even Neal Maupay scored an absolute hatful in the Championship.

If we stay up then a full season at Preston will do Cannon the world of good. And if he keeps scoring and developing we might hopefully get a clinical 21 year old back, ready to make an impression in the PL.

If we don’t stay up then the likes of Simms and Canon should be able to score the goals to bring us straight back up (whilst costing appropriately small wages).

Dupont Koo
12 Posted 08/04/2023 at 09:31:15
This is the best situation we can hope for in a loan situation: short of dominating in a lower level, Tom is doing very well and getting consistent minutes in games that really count for a promotion-chasing team.

Good to know that he is filling his frame and getting extra burst on his steps. But the long term dividend, IMHO, would be getting him mentally ready as every minute he will play between now and the end of the season will be pressure-cooked. When he eventually finds his way to the first team, he will be able to handle pressure a lot better with this season under his belt.

Seamus made his bones in similar fashion with Blackpool in the Championship 10 years ago (he started almost every game for a half season, including the Playoff Final victory at Wembley), the rest is history.

If only Tom will follow a similar path.

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 08/04/2023 at 09:42:30
James (7) Thanks for the link, very good.

For anyone thinking about how Tom Cannon is doing and he should have been kept here and used in the first team read Robert @(5) excellent summary especially the fourth paragraph.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 08/04/2023 at 09:49:44
That should have read at the end of (13) The fourth and fifth paragraphs.
Damian Halligan
15 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:59:18
Fortunately he’s contracted until 2025. No doubt the usual suspects will be whispering in his ear if he keeps progressing
Alan J Thompson
16 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:58:10
It seems that a lot improve when moved away from Finch Farm.
James Flynn
17 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:51:13
Dave (13) - Anytime.

Tom is still "potential" as far as the big leagues is concerned.

If he plays the last few games for PNE, it will be 20 games total, which is hardly enough to draw a definite conclusion beyond "For a start, he's doing pretty well so far.".

He needs a full season out on loan. Then we see what we have in him this time next year.

Unless we go down. Then Tom, Dobbins and Branthwaite too, play for us.

Dermot O'Brien
18 Posted 10/04/2023 at 19:12:47
Thanks for the link James. Good header for the first and then composure for the second. Nice to see an Everton striker scoring. 😏
Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 10/04/2023 at 19:24:19
He got another one today as well in a 2-1 win for Preston.
John Raftery
20 Posted 10/04/2023 at 21:05:27
A good friend of mine is a season ticket holder at Deepdale. He has seen many players come and go over the decades, including Howard Kendall, David Beckham, and Jordan Pickford. As a teenager, he remembers watching the incomparable Tom Finney.

His view of Tom Cannon is that, after a quiet first month or so when he struggled to make an impact, he has looked ten times better than Anthony Gordon, who was on loan at PNE 2 years ago. Most certainly his scoring record alone suggests that assessment might not be far off the mark.

I expect Tom will be given a chance to establish himself in our first-team squad in the pre-season and during the August fixtures. Confidence is almost everything for goal scorers. Tom appears to have that at present. Let's hope he can retain that going into next season, in whichever league we happen to be.

It's too early to know for certain but he just might be the Academy graduate we have been craving.

Kieran Kinsella
21 Posted 10/04/2023 at 21:15:03

I hope so. I thought it was weird we sent him out and recalled Simms. The latter was doing pretty well at Sunderland while Canon was in and around our first team squad. Then both had to do a reset, Simms try and force his way into our first team squad, Canon settle into a new side mid season. I'd have thought it made more sense just to keep them where they were. But hey obviously all part of Thelwell's 200 point masterplan

James Flynn
22 Posted 13/04/2023 at 02:09:39
Not sure if the link will work. But it has Tom's 7th in 9.


3 other shots at the link, beside the goal.

He has pace. But it's his quick control and transition to a shot that's most impressive. The goal at the link isn't the first one he's had to control and shoot in a tight space.

One can practice to learn and control the ball. But staying cool under pressure the way he does, you have or you don't. Tom has it.

Me, I think a full season out on loan, would be best for him (and us in the long run).

Still, what he's doing has helped fire the team into the playoff picture. With 5 games to go, big playoff-position 6-pointer Saturday away to Millwall.

Must be exciting just to get a hint of maybe promotion when your team hasn't been in the old 1st Division or the Premier League in 60 years.

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