Keane to add creativity to PNE’s play

Will Keane
Will Keane
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  • New boy Will Keane impresses on debut against Chorley
  • Loan man played in the hole behind the front two
  • North End drew 0-0 with the Magpies at Victory Park
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Will Keane’s debut for Preston North End has been given the thumbs up by Lilywhites assistant manager Glynn Snodin.

The 22-year-old striker, signed on loan for the season from Manchester United last week, played the first half of the goalless draw at Chorley.

We believe that we have put together some strong firepower which can hopefully win us games this season.

He played in a role behind strikers Jermaine Beckford and Jordan Hugill, showing some decent touches and a desire to get into the box.

Snodin told the Evening Post: “We changed the system, putting wing-backs in there with Will dropping into the hole behind the front lads.

“He is a clever player with a good football brain and you could see that at Chorley.

“When you have got Beckford up there who likes to play on the last defender’s shoulder, it is good to have some creativity behind.

“We believe that we have put together some strong firepower which can hopefully win us games this season.

“The Championship will be tough, we are going up a level and we will be facing some big teams, some good players and some good back fours.

“But with the strikers we have got, we fancy ourselves to cause teams problems.”

All the outfield North End players were limited to 45 minutes of action at Victory Park, it being very much a case of easing them back into action after the summer break.

It will be the same policy against Bamber Bridge tomorrow night.

The one player to feature in both halves on Saturday was goalkeeper Jamie Jones.

He played 70 minutes before being replaced between the posts by Steven James.

Snodin said: “Jamie did well, he looked comfortable and confident, his kicking was first-class.

“In the first half he made a good save low down, their lad caught his shot really well and Jamie did well to hold it.

“We kept Jamie on for that bit longer than the outfield players before giving young Steven some time on the pitch in the closing stages.”

Jones is North End’s only experienced keeper at the moment as they wait on a loan deal for Sam Johnstone.

Manchester United will only let Johnstone out once they have put in place their keepers for the forthcoming season.

David de Gea is wanted by Real Madrid who sold long-serving No.1 Iker Casillas to Porto on Saturday.

Casillas’ exit could now speed up de Gea’s switch to Spain, and United landing a replacement would likely see Johnstone given the nod to return to Deepdale.

But a further complication could arise from Turkish club Antalyaspor’s interest in United’s second-choice keeper Victor Valdes.

United need to carry three goalkeepers in their 25-man Premier League squad.

So an exit for Valdes could lead to the possibility of Johnstone staying at United and being third choice.

For now, PNE are content to wait for Johnstone to become available, but they do have other keepers in mind.