PNE wing-back says luck is out

Marnick Vermijl in action at Fulham with James Husband for company
Marnick Vermijl in action at Fulham with James Husband for company
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Preston North End wing-back Marnick Vermijl bemoaned PNE’s lack of luck after they drew 1-1 with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Lilywhites dominated the first half but they failed to add to their tally after Joe Garner bagged his second goal in as many games with a powerful header in the 11th minute.

His trike partner Eoin Doyle could have made it two after Garner headed the ball back across goal – but he nodded the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.

PNE controlled the half so much that the home fans booed off the Fulham side at half-time.

After the break Cottagers caretaker boss Peter Grant switched to match up to Simon Grayson’s 3-5-2 formation and the tide turned.

Vermijl says PNE were just unlucky and admitted Fulham captain Ross McCormack’s 77th-minute free-kick was world class.

He said: “It could have gone either way.

“We had a great first half with lots of possession and some good chances. We were just unlucky that we didn’t get the second goal.

“We got a lot of joy on the flanks in the first half and they couldn’t handle us.

“But in the second half they tried to match us up and it worked.

“We knew they were going to come at us after the break, like they did, and we defended well.

“So we just tried to hit them on the counter and I think, with a little more luck, you never know what could have happened.

“I felt like we were on top of them in the first half and you heard it from the crowd.

“We were just unlucky that we didn’t get that second goal – that could have taken some of the pressure off. We defended well and it was a ‘worldy’ 
free-kick.

“It was an open game, end-to-end stuff. We knew what we were up against and I think we handled it well.”

The Belgian made his first start since North End’s 0-0 draw at QPR on November 7.

He says he understands why he has been in and out of the side this season and the 23-year-old just wants to do his best when he is given the nod.

He said: “As a player you want to play every single game but you know tactical switches, and being in and out of the side are a part of the game and I just try and do my best every time I play.”

Vermijl also took the time to praise Garner for his work rate after the striker bagged his second of the campaign after a long barren spell.

He said: “As a striker people judge you on goals but Joe knew in his head that goal was going to come. It did last week and you saw it again on Saturday – he was clinical.

“If you score goals the confidence is high but even when he wasn’t scoring he was doing a great job for the team.

“Every single game he gives 110% for the team.”

PNE substitute Stevie May sustained a serious knee injury just moments after coming off the bench in stoppage time.

The striker’s right leg was caught by Richard Stearman as he cleared the ball.

May had to be carried off the field on a stretcher and left the ground on crutches, wearing a knee brace and Grayson said he may have damaged one of his ligaments.

Vermijl said: “It is always difficult to take when you have an injury like that.

“But hopefully he will recover as quickly as possible.”