Loans are worth the gamble, says PNE boss

Sam Johnstone

Sam Johnstone

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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson says the loan market is always worth a gamble when it comes to adding quality, even though it is not a long-term measure.

The Lilywhites have five borrowed players in their squad at the moment but are likely to lose Jordan Pickford in January, with Sunderland looking to recall him.

Adam Reach’s loan from Middlesbrough is also up at the end of the month.

North End are keen to do another deal with Middlesbrough to extend the winger’s stay.

The others on loan are Marnick Vermijl, Will Keane and Eoin Doyle, all of them on season-long stays.

Pickford’s likely recall to Wearside is frustrating for PNE fans, with the goalkeeper having performed so well over the last four months.

But the fact there is the speculation over him comes with the territory of taking a quality player on loan.

Grayson said: “You accept that there might be recalls and such like when you take loan players.

“You know when you sign them that they are not your player and are from another football club – we are in their hands.

“All the clubs who have loaned us players are pleased with the way that they have developed here.

“If you asked all of the loan players, they will tell you themselves that they are enjoying themselves with Preston.

“Hopefully we can keep them all but what will be, will be in January.

“What we need to do is concentrate on the next few games and see where things go after that.

“I’ve said it before that if players go back, it is important they go into someone’s first-team or at least around it.

“You look at Sam Johnstone who enjoyed playing for us last season but hasn’t really been anywhere near the Manchester United team this time.”

North End head to Leeds tomorrow afternoon, hoping to be at their Sunday best for the Elland Road clash.

They will face a Leeds side in good spirits after their 3-2 win over Wolves at Molineux on Thursday night.

That result lifted Steve Evans’ men above PNE in the table but Wolves slipped below them on goal difference.

The Roses battle is one which North End midfielder Paul Gallagher is confident they can get something out of.

Gallagher said: “We know that Leeds is a difficult place to go because their supporters are very vocal and try and get on top of you.

“The times I have played there, I have enjoyed it because it is a good stadium and pitch. This season, Leeds have been a bit up and down, changing managers to try and find the right formula.

“We will look after ourselves and if we play like we have been doing, we will give ourselves a chance of coming away with a good result.

“We believe that we can win this game because we have confidence.”