PNE new boy May looks promising

Stevie May
Stevie May
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Simon Grayson says he has seen plenty of promise in Stevie May’s first two displays in a Preston North End shirt.

he deadline-day signing started Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Bristol City after being a second-half substitute against Derby last Saturday.

May partnered Joe Garner up front before being part of a three-man attack when Eoin Doyle joined the fray.

“He is everything which it says on the tin,” Grayson told the Evening Post.

“Stevie is industrious, works hard and has got a lot of quality on the ball. At the moment it is all about developing partnerships and understandings.

“When he plays up there with Joe, it is about him knowing where Joe likes to run and which positions to take up in certain situation.

“It is the same when we have three up there, learning which are the best areas to go in.

“Stevie and Eoin Doyle will get better the longer they are here and the more they play.

“To have those different options at the top end of the pitch is a big bonus.”

Grayson needs his front men to start firing sooner rather than later, with none of the PNE strikers yet to find the net in Championship action.

The league goals have all come from midfield, Daniel Johnson (2), Paul Gallagher and Neil Kilkenny on target.

Garner’s barren run went on against the Robins, with him hitting the woodwork for the second game running.

Said Grayson: “Things keep going against Joe but you know with him that he is going to keep working and will get there in the end.

“He has not had a barren run like this for a long time but he’ll be fine. When you look back at all the games, it is not a case of him not getting into the right areas.

“Every defender who has played against Joe this season will have known they have been in a game, regardless of him not having scored.

“When some strikers don’t score, they can go missing and don’t get into the box to take responsibility.

“But Joe is not like that, he is confident in everything he does and his approach play.

“For him to have a shot from where he did against Bristol City and hit the bar, shows that his confidence is still there.

“He just needs a scrappy goal, one to go in off his backside, then he will be up and running.”

Garner takes his search for goals to the capital on Saturday when North End face Brentford at Griffin Park.

That is a game which might come too early in terms of a return for Paul Gallagher.

The creative midfielder has missed the last two games with a calf strain suffered in training last Friday.

His presence has certainly been missed and Grayson does not seem too hopeful of having him back for Brentford.

“Gally is touch and go for the weekend,” said Grayson.

“Jordan Hugill and Kyel Reid are expected to be back in training today.”