Donny setback but PNE boss’s joy over Joe

PNE ace Chris celebrates scoring against Doncaster last night
PNE ace Chris celebrates scoring against Doncaster last night
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Preston North End boss Simon Grayson has spoken of his delight at extending Joe Garner’s stay at Deepdale.

The red-hot striker agreed a new two-year contract yesterday, ending speculation over his future.

North End turned down two bids from Championship clubs in recent weeks and had no desire to sell Garner.

He had a year to run on his present deal, with the new contract replacing that and keeping him at the club until the summer of 2016.

Garner could not mark the new deal with a goal as PNE drew 1-1 with Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium last night.

It was Chris Humphrey on the scoresheet instead, a superb finish from outside the box giving the visitors a 65th-minute lead.

But they were pegged back by a stoppage-time equaliser from Donny substitute Nathan Tyson.

Grayson said: “I dropped a few hints over the weekend that we were close to getting things done – and we got it done which is great for the club.

“Joe had reiterated many times that he didn’t want to leave and I didn’t want him to leave.

“It was just about getting a compromise between the club and his representative.

“He is one of the hottest properties around at the moment and we were adamant we would not sell him despite a lot of speculation – people were claiming he was about to sign for X, Y and Z.

“That was never going to happen.

“We have had bids for him which we turned down – they were nowhere near the valuation we put on him.

“When someone scores 24 goals last season like Joe did, there were always going to be enquiries.

“We fortunately have an owner who doesn’t need the money.

“And he loves where he is – he is settled with his family and enjoying his football.

“What he wanted a deal which he thought he was worthy of, and eventually a compromise was reached.”

Turning to events in Doncaster, Grayson said: “It is frustrating but these things happen in football.

“We were on the other side of it the other week when we got a late equaliser against Notts County.

“We were quite comfortable and Doncaster hadn’t had too many opportunities – Jamie Jones didn’t make too many saves.

“It looked like we were going to see out the game and then a couple of lapses of concentration proved costly.

“The lads are adamant the ball had already gone out of play on the other side of the pitch for our throw-in. But the ball came back in and fell to one of their players.

“There wasn’t a lot of space to go and play because of Doncaster’s formatio but we have to deal with that. We found it a bit more difficult to find our players with the ball.

“Sometimes you have to dig in and find something to try to win you the game.

“Chris Humphrey’s strike was a fantastic one which deserved to win any football match.

“After that we dealt with everything they threw at us but we just needed our game management to be a bit better.

“There are things which we need to learn from last season.”