Monakana is PNE’s lucky charm

Jeffrey Monakana
Jeffrey Monakana
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Jeffrey Monakana is proving a lucky charm for Preston North End as far as his goals are concerned.

The teenage winger’s four goals have all come in games which North End have gone on to win.

His latest strike came in last week’s FA Cup victory over Gillingham, Monakana setting PNE on their way with a 12th minute shot.

Previous to that, the 19-year-old had been on target against Crystal Palace, Yeovil and Stevenage.

The modest Monakana plays down his scoring habits though, putting more emphasis on the service he provides for others from the wing.

Monakana told the Evening Post: “It’s nice when the goals come and I know that I can score them.

“My main target is to make chances for the strikers to score and work hard for the team.

“As far as scoring is concerned, I haven’t set myself any targets, I’ll just be grateful when they come along.

“I started off as a striker at Arsenal so I’ve always been able to finish.

“When they moved me out to the wing, I started to concentrate more on creating chances rather than scoring them.

“I’m just happy to playing in the matches here and trying to help Preston do well.”

There was a switch of wing for Monakana against Gillingham, with him playing on the left.

With the left-footed Lee Holmes operating on the right, it gave the wingers licence to come inside and build attacks that way.

It also meant that PNE didn’t leave themselves short on experience down the right-wing.

Had Monakana operated on that side, he would have been in front of fellow 19-year-old Todd Kane who was making only his second PNE appearance.

“I’m fine with playing on either side,” said Monakana.

“If you are comfortable on both the right and left, it makes you more unpredictable as far as the opposition are concerned.

“Defenders aren’t quite sure which way you going to run.”

Next up for North End is the visit of Crewe Alexandra to Deepdale on Saturday.

The game brings Chuks Aneke back to this neck of the woods, the teenager having spent six weeks on loan with PNE from Arsenal at the end of last season.

Aneke, who is in the third month of a loan spell at Crewe, is a former Gunners team-mate of Monakana.

“Chuks is a good friend of mine,” Monakana said.

“At Arsenal he was the year group ahead of me and we’d played in a lot of tournaments together.

“He’s a very good player and is doing well at Crewe.”

Meanwhile, North End’s visit to Bury in the JPT has been rearranged for Tuesday, December 18, kick-off 7.45pm.

All tickets from Tuesday night’s postponed game are valid, and refunds are available for those who can’t get to the rearranged date.

Ambassador season ticket holders can make a 30% saving in the club shop between 8am and 8pm tomorrow.