PNE check-out injury to Rudd

Declan Rudd
Declan Rudd
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Preston North End are assessing an injury suffered by keeper Declan Rudd in last night’s win over Bamber Bridge –a result which got Alex Neil’s reign as manager off to a good start.

The Lilywhites won 7-0 in their annual visit to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Stevie May in action for PNE against Bamber Bridge

Stevie May in action for PNE against Bamber Bridge

But the one concern from the opening pre-season clash was Rudd’s injury.

He tweaked a thigh muscle early in the contest and had to be substituted.

First-team coach Steve Thompson, who took charge of the team while new boss Neil watched from the stand, told the Post: “I didn’t see it when Dec got the injury.

“But I’m told he did it when he went to strike the ball at a goalkick.

New PNE boss Alex Neil at Bamber Bridge

New PNE boss Alex Neil at Bamber Bridge

“It was a niggle on his thigh, he said he felt a little twinge and at this stage of pre-season it is better safe than sorry.

“We got him straight away and hopefully he’ll be okay pretty soon.

“The physio will assess it and we will go from there.

“Dec being injured was the only disappointment on what was a very good night for us.”

Eoin Doyle at Bamber Bridge

Eoin Doyle at Bamber Bridge

North End were without Calum Woods, John Welsh and new boy Josh Harrop for the Brig clash.

Woods and Welsh were not ready to return after being out with long-term injuries, while Harrop was nursing a tight calf muscle.

Thompson said: “Calum has worked fantastically well in pre-season training.

“In the sessions he has been right up there.

“But we just thought that given how long he had been out, this game might have come too soon.

“It is nearly a year since he last played so another week’s training will do him good.

“John Welsh is a great trainer and will be back soon but isn’t ready yet.

“As for Josh, he had a tight calf which we weren’t going to risk at this early stage.”

New manager Neil can’t have helped but be impressed with what he saw in the main from Preston last night.

Goals in the first half from Ben Davies, Stevie May and Callum Robinson put PNE in command.

Tom Barkhuizen, Jordan Hugill (2) and first-year pro Melle Meulensteen were on target in the second period.

Said Thompson: “It was a good work out and there were some good things for the new manager to look at.

“I think he will have quite impressed with the work-rate and attitude.

“We scored seven goals so it was a good night.

“The lads played at a good tempo throughout the game, we put out two different sides to make sure everyone got a good run-out.

“On Sunday we go over to Ireland for five days of solid training when the gaffer will start to put his ideas across to the lads.”