Joe thrilled to end barren run

Joe Garner clebrates scoring against Sheffield Wednesday

Joe Garner clebrates scoring against Sheffield Wednesday

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Preston North End hitman Joe Garner says he owes Calum Woods a pint after the defender’s pinpoint cross helped the striker end his 12-match goal drought.

Garner leapt high at the back stick to nod Woods’ left-footed cross past former Carlisle team-mate Keiren Westwood in the 73rd minute as the Lilywhites claimed a 1-0 victory over 10-man Sheffield Wednesday.

It was Garner’s 99th career goal but only his fourth of the campaign and the 27-year-old admitted that he would have liked to have scored more.

But the striker added that the current 3-5-1-1 wing-back formation currently favoured by boss Simon Grayson means he is not getting as many chances as he did last term when he bagged 27 goals which saw North End gain promotion to the Championship.

Now after scoring his first goal since PNE’s 1-0 victory over Reading on December 12, he is keen to kick on and score his 100th goal against Charlton on Tuesday.

He said: “I told Calum I probably owe him a pint for that cross!

“Most strikers are judged on their goals and I haven’t scored as many as I’d have liked this season. It is tough up their on your own and I will keep working hard for the team – that is the main thing. That is how the gaffer wants to set up and it is getting us results.

“You want to score in as many games as you can but we have been playing five at the back and we have been hurting teams on the counter.

“I have not had as many chances as I have had in the last couple of years.

“We’ve been playing some good football, I’ve got some really good players behind me and I know the goals will come, it is just about being patient. I will keep working hard for the team and hopefully we can carry on picking up the three points and hopefully I can make it 100 on Tuesday.”

Woods teed-up Alan Browne to head home the winner against Huddersfield in the previous match at Deepdale and assisted Adam Reach against Wolves.

After producing another fine cross to end Garner’s barren spell the striker says he has been urging the right wing-back to whip more crosses into the mix.

He said: “Once Calum gets in those positions he always puts in a decent ball and I’ve been on at him to get more crosses in.

“In the last three games he’s got three assists and as a striker, long may it continue.”

Garner’s ex-Watford team mate and Owls striker Fernando Forestieri picked up a yellow card for simulation early in the second half and was shown a second yellow for deliberate handball in the 66th minute.

Garner did not see the incident but praised referee Keith Stroud.

He said: “Decisions like that happen every week it is the referees job to make them – and he has done really well today.

“Fernando is a top player and it is not for me to tell him how to play football, I’m sure his manager will do that.”

The result was North End’s third successive win and saw them climb up to 10th in the Championship table. Garner says teams are now starting to fear them.

He said: “We are a good side, we are very confident and we are on a great little run.

“I think it took us a little while to realise that we are a decent side in this league. I think teams now fear us and know especially when they come to Deepdale that we won’t roll over and that we will work hard for 90 plus minutes.

“We will keep going and tick along quietly but hopefully we can push on up now and start looking above us.”