Ferguson hints at Hume deal

Preston boss salutes on-loan striker

Hume: Preston loan

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Preston boss Darren Ferguson has paid tribute to on-loan striker Iain Hume and is keen to secure a permanent deal in January.

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The Barnsley forward made an immediate impact following his switch to Deepdale in September but is set to return to Oakwell at the end of his 93-day loan following Saturday's clash with Ipswich.

North End boss Ferguson accepts that the Scotland-born Canada international's form has dipped somewhat in recent weeks, but he remains hopeful a move can be sorted out when the transfer window reopens.

Ferguson told the Lancashire Evening Post: "Iain made a big impact when he first came in. He has great energy and a great enthusiasm for the game.

"By his own admission, in the last couple of games he hasn't quite been at that level, but he's made a big difference here.

"He and Jon Parkin do work well together. I feel that when they are on their game, they are a great partnership. They really stood out in the win at Leeds - their partnership looked really decent that night, as it has done in many games since.

"There is a chance Iain will return, let's wait and see. Iain gives us options, as well as playing up front he can play wide right."

Situation

Part of the deal to bring Hume to Preston involved Paul Hayes going in the opposite direction, but he has struggled to secure regular action at Oakwell.

And Ferguson admits he would happy to welcome back the forward who he only signed on a free transfer from Scunthorpe in the summer.

Ferguson added: "Paul hasn't played many games at Barnsley for whatever reason. If he comes back here, that's fine. The situation was that he hadn't really settled here and his family hadn't settled.

"To get Iain Hume we had to sort of let Paul go - that was the way we got the deal done.

"I only signed Paul in the summer and I signed him for a reason - he's a good player.

"If he comes back I've no problem with that, He's a good trainer and a good lad. Hopefully he would find a bit of form and confidence.

"Paul is a good player who can both create and score goals."