PNE owner speaks on club’s plight

Trevor Hemmings predicts a climb up the Championship table for Preston
Trevor Hemmings predicts a climb up the Championship table for Preston
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Trevor Hemmings has backed Preston North End to adjust to the Championship and climb their way out of trouble.

PNE resume action after the international break second from bottom of the table, with one win in 10 league games.

The club’s owner is taking a longer-term view of things though, and is confident of a better run of results.

Hemmings told the Evening Post: “The people who go to the games will have seen that sometimes, Lady Luck hasn’t been on our side.

“I think we will get our turn in terms of luck.

“If you ask me where I think we finish, I still think we will be well up the league – halfway.

“I said in May after we got promoted that I thought a finish halfway up was possible and my view hasn’t changed.

“Then we can prepare for a higher jump next year if that is humanly possible.

“We are playing in a new division and that is not as simple as some people think.

“At the moment, we are still adjusting to the Championship.

“We are down there, Bristol City are down there, MK Dons are down there – all three clubs who were promoted.

“This division is something completely different to what we were used to.

“What gives me confidence is the enthusiasm of the players and manager, as well as the quality they have got.

“The nice thing about the Preston players is that they live in the real world. They try like mad in games – where we are at the moment is not because of a lack of effort.”

North End play Cardiff at Deepdale on Saturday, then face back-to-back trips to Charlton and Brighton.

Simon Grayson will have his full squad available for the first time this morning, Jordan Pickford and Alan Browne having been on international duty until Tuesday.

Pickford played for England Under-21s in a 3-0 victory over Kazakhstan at Coventry, while midfielder Browne was in the Republic of Ireland side beaten 1-0 by Italy in Vicenza.

Bailey Wright returned earlier in the week from playing for Australia.

The defender picked up an injury playing in the Socceroos’ 2-0 defeat to Jordan last week but should be fit to face Cardiff.

North End boss Grayson said: “Bailey has been back with us since the start of the week.

“He took a bit of a knock in Australia’s game but he should be fine for Saturday.

“Paul Huntington is making progress with the physio after his hamstring injury.

“During the international break we have taken the chance to get some work into the players and given some of them the chance to get over niggling injuries.

“We go into the next batch of games and we want as many players available as possible.”

Calum Woods has been having treatment on a calf strain suffered before the Sheffield Wednesday game.

The defender featured in that match but only after getting through a fitness test.