Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has dropped goalkeeper Jamie Jones for today’s top of the table clash against Bristol City.
Jones joined PNE from Leyton Orient in the summer but Grayson hinted in Thursday’s press conference that the shot-stopper was not living up to former keeper Declan Rudd’s high standards.
And Grayson made the bold decision to drop Jones to the bench and give Thorsten Stuckmann his first league start in 19 months for today’s first versus third clash at Ashton Gate.
Grayson said: “Declan raised the bar last season – he was the best keeper in League One by a country mile in my opinion.
“He has since gone back to a top club Norwich in the Championship.
“Whoever we brought in, we had to be wary of the level the previous year.
“When we are conceding goals it is a concern because I want us to keep clean sheets and win matches.”
The German keeper’s last league start was in April 2013 against Crawley Town and Grayson has given him the opportunity to fill the void left by Rudd. Rudd returned to his parent club Norwich in May after making 68 loan appearances for PNE.
The goalkeeping switch overshadowed the news that Jermaine Beckford - who signed on-loan from Bolton on Thursday - is named on the bench.
Grayson made two more changes to the PNE side that lost their third consecutive league game against Bradford City.
Scott Wiseman missed the 2-1 defeat as he was international duty and he returns to the starting XI in place of Jack King who moves to the bench.
John Welsh is Grayson’s third change as Alan Browne misses out due to a hamstring injury.
City boss Steve Cotterill makes two changes after the league leaders lost their first match of the season last Saturday.
Bristol lost 1-0 to Swindon and former Burnley boss Cotterill has decided to recall Mark Little and Marlon Pack to the side.
PNE: Stuckmann, Wiseman, Clarke, Humphrey, Kilkenny, Gallagher, Garner, Buchanan, Welsh, Huntington, Robinson. Subs: Jones, Laird, K Davies, Beckford, Reid, King, Brownhill.
Bristol City: Fielding, Little, Williams, Flint, Smith, Freeman, Wilbraham, Agard, Pack, Ayling, Bryan. Subs: Richards, El-Abd, Emmanuel-Thomas, Wagstaff, Kane, Reid, Cunningham.
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)