Dave Seddon’s press view

Preston North End's David Buchanan  Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport  Football - FA Challenge Cup Second Round - Preston North End v Shrewsbury Town - Saturday 6th December 2014 - Deepdale - Preston   � CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

Preston North End's David Buchanan Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport Football - FA Challenge Cup Second Round - Preston North End v Shrewsbury Town - Saturday 6th December 2014 - Deepdale - Preston � CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

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You cannot accuse Simon Grayson of failing to use the depth of the Preston squad or of evolving the side this season.

He has used 27 players in the 26 games and compare the starting XI which played on the opening day of the campaign to the one on show in the last two matches against Yeovil and Shrewsbury.

Only three of the players who started the Notts County game on August 9 did likewise on the past two Saturdays.

Neil Kilkenny, Tom Clarke and Paul Gallagher are the common link.

Along the way, Jamie Jones, Calum Woods, Ben Davies, Bailey Wright, Alan Browne, Josh Brownhill, Andy Little and Joe Garner have fallen by the wayside.

Injuries have admittedly made a big contribution to the selection options.

Little, Woods, Wright and Garner in roughly that order have been sidelined by stretched hamstrings, troublesome groins and detached knee tendons.

But with the other changes, Grayson has allowed movement in and out of the team – players coming to the fore and others having to make do with a seat on the bench instead.

Fair play to those who have come into the side and taken their chance, that particularly so in defence.

As was discussed during the back page interview with David Buchanan in the Evening Post this week, the back line is much changed.

Jamie Jones behind a back four of Woods, Tom Clarke, Wright and Ben Davies was the defence which played the first four games of the season.

Since last month’s away win at Bristol City, it has been Thorsten Stuckmann, Scott Wiseman, Clarke, Paul Huntington and Buchanan.

Stuckmann at Ashton Gate was the latest change, the others in front of them having cemented their places in the weeks before.

In the cases of Buchanan and particularly Huntington, they have resurrected themselves at Deepdale.

Buchanan did not feature at first-team level between the away leg of the play-offs in May and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy meeting with Shrewsbury on September 2.

You would argue that he had started the campaign as third-choice at left-back, young Davies having got the nod to start the campaign there and then Scott Laird had a chance.

He has been pretty much an immovable object ever since, the Oldham JPT clash the only game Buchanan has not started – even in that he got on as a substitute to tuck away a penalty in the shoot-out.

Huntington has started 11 games on the bounce and will make that 12 when MK Dons pay their visit.

That is some run when you bear in mind that before the victory at Gillingham – when he netted the winner – his last league start had been on December 29.

In the summer he turned down moves away, strong in his belief that his future still lay with Preston.

Such a view no doubt flew in the face of other people’s opinion, so every credit to him for sticking with it. The fact that he he been sticking a few goals away too, will make him harder to shift in the weeks to come.

There is no doubt that the North End team will continue to evolve, although perhaps not to the extent it has done in the last four months.

January you would guess will bring a couple of new faces, most likely up front and in the midfield.

And is there someone else to come into the team from the depths of the squad in the manner of Huntington and Buchanan?

Meanwhile, Monday’s FA Cup draw was a mixture of anticipation, excitement and slight disappointment, once they actually got round to it after all the interviews and a few close-ups of the fish tanks.

Norwich at home? A tad under whelming but winnable.