Big Mak’s the man for PNE

Simon Makienok celebrates his hat-trick at Bournemouth

Simon Makienok celebrates his hat-trick at Bournemouth

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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson was delighted to see his Great Dane front man Simon Makienok get off the mark in last night’s League Cup victory over Premier League side Bournemouth.

Makienok, making only his second start for the Lilywhites, struck a hat-trick in the 3-2 win at Dean Court.

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It fired North End into the fourth round of the competition, with the draw being made tonight on Sky Sports.

Danish striker Makienok, a summer loan signing from Italian club Palermo, had not exactly set the place alight since his arrival.

But with a series of niggling injuries behind him, he showed the PNE fans what he was capable of.

Grayson said: “It was the complete hat-trick, left, foot, right foot and header.

“The last one seemed to take an eternity to go in as it went over the goalkeeper.

“He has showed what he is capable of doing.

“Simon has had a stop-start season so far with us because of some niggling injuries.

“But I’m delighted for him, like any striker scoring goals, that will be a big boost to his confidence.

“He gives you the option of playing up to him, he has got fantastic hold-up play.

“The kid can run too, you saw him in the last few minutes he was still running the channels.

“He has a good touch and brings people into the game, that allows us to play different ways.

“That is why we signed him in the summer, he gives us something different to the squad which we hadn’t got.

“Simon got an injury in pre-season and has had bits and pieces since then.

“It has been about him waiting for an opportunity.

“I thought Simon’s performance was very much like the rest of the lads, dogged and hard-working, but he showed quality when it was needed too.

“A lot of those players were champing at the bit to come into the team.

“Full credit to them, they have worked hard on their fitness, they were still going in extra-time.”

Makienok was one of 10 players to come into the starting XI after the thrashing PNE got at Brentford.

Said Grayson: “We made 10 changes which was a decision I had come to last week because of the Wigan game on Friday night.

“What it showed was a reaction from the squad to a crazy 15 minutes at Brentford last Saturday. I thought we played well and deserved the victory over the course of the game.

“We created good chances, had to withstand pressure and with five minutes to go we showed the character to make it 2-2, get back into the game and take it to extra-time.”