PNE boss aims to do business

North End boss Simon Grayson
North End boss Simon Grayson
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Preston North End are looking to replace injured front man Jermanine Beckford and strengthen another area of their squad ahead of the close of the transfer window.

The Lilywhites have until 6pm tomorrow to conclude any permanent business.

Priority is filling the gap created by Beckford’s knee injury, the striker set to undergo surgery this week which is likely to keep him on the sidelines for a some length of time.

It is believed they also have their eye on another incoming deal, while there could be a piece of outgoing business done too.

After tomorrow teatime, the fallback option is the emergency loan window.

That opens next week and runs until late November.

Beckford’s absence is a big blow, although PNE boss Simon Grayson admitted the player having to undergo surgery was a possible option from when he first suffered the injury in pre-season.

He was hurt in the friendly against Motherwell on July 24 and it was hoped that a programme of treatment, rest and a gradual return would avoid the need for an operation.

Beckford made substitute appearances against Ipswich and Watford but his knee swelled up after training on Friday, an indication that surgery will be required.

He travelled with the PNE squad to Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Hull at the KC Stadium and watched the game from the press box. Grayson said: “We don’t know how long Jermaine will be out until the prognosis comes through from the surgeon – he will have to go in and analyse the damage.

“Jermaine will miss game-time over the next few weeks and possibly months.

“He did it at Motherwell in the pre-season game.

“We have managed it over the few weeks since then, knowing there was a possibility that he might need surgery.

“Jermaine got through the last couple of games and was coming through training without there being too much swelling on the knee.

“The hope was that it would settle down and that there wouldn’t be any reaction further down the line.

“Unfortunately there has been a reaction and it has swollen up.”

In Beckford’s absence at Hull, Joe Garner played as a lone striker before being joined later in the game by Will Keane from the bench.

Grayson felt defeat had been slightly harsh on PNE as he assessed a second successive league reverse.

He said: “I thought we started extremely well and Hull changed their system because of how we had dictated things.

“They scored their first goal against the run of play and we had a great opportunity at 1-0 when Alan Browne should have scored.

“I’m pleased with how we played but disappointed to have lost. We caused them a lot of problems.”