Preston boss Darren Ferguson has backed striker Paul Hayes to get back to his best and become a vital player for the club this season.
Hayes was the Lilywhites' first signing of the summer after he arrived on a free transfer from Scunthorpe, but after a bright start to the season he has found himself relegated to the bench for the last seven matches.
Ferguson has opted to use Jon Parkin playing as a lone forward supported by midfielders Adam Barton and Iain Hume, but the Preston chief insists Hayes remains central to his plans.
"I've been pleased with Paul's contribution," Ferguson told the Lancashire Evening Post.
"He's probably lost a bit of confidence recently and I also know it has taken his family a bit of time to settle here, which may have had a bearing on his form. But Paul is going to be a big player for us, he will score goals and set them up.
"He started the season well, scored twice at Stockport and then the winner against Portsmouth here. I thought he did really well in the Portsmouth game playing up front with Josh King. Since then we have changed a little bit in terms of how we play.
"Jon Parkin has come in and done well up front, with Adam and Iain doing well playing off him. But Paul will play a lot of games for us this season, no doubt about that."