Will Keane has revealed how former Preston North End midfielder Warren Joyce – his coach at Manchester United – spoke highly of the Lilywhites ahead of his loan move to Deepdale.
Joyce, who made more than 200 appearances for PNE between 1987 and 1992, is the Red Devils’ Under-21s coach.
He has worked closely with Keane over the last few seasons and is someone who the striker will keep closely in contact with during his season with North End.
Keane told the Evening Post: “I’ve probably spent four or five years with Warren Joyce – he is a great coach to work with.
“There are different stages of your development as a player – at the Under-18s, for example, it is very technical.
“When you get to Warren in the Under-21s, he turns you into a player, makes you really understand what the game is all about.
“He is not easy on you, he works you hard and puts a high demand on you.
“Warren has been a great help with me and even though I’m away from United, I have kept in touch with him.
“I spoke to him just a few days ago and he was asking how I was getting on here at Preston.
“He is always good to get some advice from and he wants the best for all the young players he coaches.
“I had a few conversations with Warren before I came here – obviously he knew Preston very well as a club.
“He told me that it was a great opportunity for me and a chance to build on what I had done, and improve myself. He only had good things to say about Preston and that was nice to hear.”
Keane is settling in well at Deepdale after joining on a season-long loan earlier this month.
He has featured in four of the friendlies to date, often playing in a role behind the strikers or on the left-hand side of a front three.
At Southport a week ago, the 22-year-old came off the bench to score his first goal in a North End shirt.
Keane should get more game- time under his belt this evening when Preston face Carlisle United at Brunton Park (7.15pm).
That will be the penultimate friendly for most of the senior squad, with the last one at Bury on Saturday.
Tomorrow night, it will be a younger side which travels to the North East to take on Ashington.
Reflecting on the pre-season so far, Keane said: “It has been good to get among the lads, get to know them and the coaching staff.
“We have worked hard and the last few weeks has all been about getting the legs going and building the fitness levels.
“Even though it was only a friendly, it was nice to get my first goal at Southport.
“That is under my belt now and obviously I hope there are plenty more to come.
“Things will build up even more over the next week or so as the first game of the season against Middlesbrough gets closer.”