PNE star Scott set to face world champions

Scott Wiseman in Gibraltar colours
Scott Wiseman in Gibraltar colours
Share this article
0
Have your say

Preston North End right-back Scott Wiseman will have experienced opponents from the polar opposites of football’s talent scale in the space of five days this week.

On Monday evening, the 28-year-old was in the PNE side which beat Conference South outfit Havant and Waterlooville.

His task in the FA Cup tie was keeping tabs on Warren Cummings and Josh Huggins, who played on the left-hand side of the Hawks team.

Tomorrow night, it could be a marking job on world beaters Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze or Toni Kroos for Wiseman.

He will be in the Gibraltar side which faces World Cup winners Germany.

The game at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin is a Euro 2016 group qualifier and very much a David-versus-Goliath battle.

Gibraltar’s three qualifiers to date have ended in back-to-back 7-0 defeats to Poland and Republic of Ireland, and a 3-0 loss to Georgia.

So a game with the world champions on their home patch will surely be mission impossible for UEFA’s smallest country.

But North End manager Simon Grayson believes Wiseman, a player he signed on a free transfer in January, should relish the experience.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “I think I would have stayed behind if I was Scott!

“Joking aside, it will be a great experience for him, playing against the best side in the world in Germany.

“It will be a huge test but one which I’m sure Scott is looking forward to.”

Gibraltar’s trip to the German capital means that North End will be without Wiseman for Saturday’s Roses battle with Bradford City at Deepdale.

That presents something of a selection issue for Grayson when it comes to the right-back slot.

In the early part of the season, Calum Woods got the nod ahead of Wiseman.

However, Woods only returned to training last week after more than six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring strain.

The former Huddersfield player suffered that injury during a late substitute run-out in the 2-0 win at Coventry on September 27. Woods is an option depending on his fitness levels.

Another choice could be to switch Tom Clarke to right-back and have Jack King in the centre of defence.

Scott Laird played out of position at right-back against Gillingham and Fleetwood last month, when injury and illness ruled out Wiseman and Clarke respectively.

Whoever does get the nod will be looking to help North End get back to winning ways in the league after the 
recent defeats against Rochdale and Swindon.

The cup win over Havant got them pointing in the right direction and now they need to do the business in the league.

After the Bradford game, they do not play at home in the league again until December 13 when MK Dons visit. “We had to make sure we got back to winning ways at Havant – the last thing we wanted was three defeats on the trot,” said Grayson. “Now we need three points at the weekend.”