PNE defender Keith’s out of the cold

Keith Keane (top) has joined Crawley
Keith Keane (top) has joined Crawley
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Keith Keane aims to fire his season into life after leaving Preston North End to join Crawley Town on loan until December.

The 27-year-old agreed the move after travelling to West Sussex on Tuesday for talks.

His loan takes effect from tomorrow and will run until December 13.

After two seasons of regular football at Deepdale, it has been a different kettle of fish for Keane in 2014/15.

He has only featured in one matchday squad, as an unused substitute in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Shrewsbury last week.

Keane said: “It was all done quite quickly and I’m glad to be here at Crawley.

“The last two seasons I was a regular at Preston and played in nearly every game.

“That has not happened this season and sometimes these things happen in football.

“Sometimes you can fall out of favour and it is something you have to get your head around.

“When the gaffer rang from Crawley and asked me if I would like to come, I jumped at the chance.

“It has been a bit frustrating this season and now that I have got this chance at Crawley, I want to take it.

“In my career I have played more than 350 games and I want to play a lot more.”

Keane joined PNE in July 2012 after playing all of his career previously at home-town club Luton.

Having mainly featured in the centre of midfield for the Hatters, he was signed to play at right-back by Graham Westley.

At the start of the 2012/13 campaign he was Preston’s mainstay at right-back.

But a knee injury suffered in the same game that Scott Laird broke his leg, saw him sidelined for three months.

His comeback game after surgery was Westley’s final game in charge at Yeovil.

After Simon Grayson was appointed, most of Keane’s appearances came in midfield.

He scored his first goal in Preston colours against Portsmouth in March 2013.

Keane’s only other goal in a competitive game came in last October’s 2-1 victory over Gillingham.

His last appearance in the PNE team was as a substitute in the play-off semi-final first leg against Rotherham.

Crawley made their move for Keane in the wake of 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Rochdale last Saturday.

That was their fifth loss in six games, and the Reds have also signed Millwall’s Josh Wright on loan.

Keane’s loan deal is for the maximum 93 days allowed during the Football League’s loan window.

PNE have given Crawley permission to play him in both the JPT and FA Cup.

But he will not be able to face North End at Deepdale a week on Saturday.

Keane had been due to play in Preston’s Lancashire FA Senior Cup tie at Blackburn but was pulled out to allow him to talk to Crawley.

His place in the centre of midfield went to David Fox, who is training with North End to keep fit after leaving Norwich in the summer.

Fox, who started his career at Manchester United, played under Grayson at Blackpool and lives in the region.

After leaving Blackpool in 2009, he moved to Colchester and then had a three-season spell with Norwich.

At this stage, it is unlikely that North End will look to be adding to their midfield.