PNE’s Big Mak has appetite for success

Simon Makienok in training with North End at Springfields
Simon Makienok in training with North End at Springfields
Share this article

Simon Makienok will try and use his height to Preston’s advantage this season but does not just want to be seen as a target man.

The 6ft 7ins Danish striker joined PNE on loan from Italian club Palermo during the summer and is a few days into pre-season training with his new team-mates.

Makienok is happy for his height to be the focus of attention, however he insists he other things to offer.

“Even though I am a tall player, I don’t just like the ball high up to me, I like to get it at my feet,” Makienok told the Evening Post.

“I like to play in different ways and can offer a variety of things to the team.

“My main strength is in the box with my height, I like to link up the game and hold the ball up for others.

“But I’m comfortable with it at my feet and can play the game that way.

“I think the English game fits well with me, I enjoyed it in the Championship last season with Charlton and adapted well to how things are done.

“My main focus during the summer was to try and stay in England in the same division and I was delighted when Preston came to sign me.

“I’m pleased to be here and training is going really well.”

Makienok, 25, started his career in Denmark, coming to prominence at Brondby where he averaged a goal almost every two games.

His form there earned him a £2m switch to Palermo but he was not able to settle in Sicily.

He spent last season on loan at Charlton, netting five goals in their colours. Said Makienok: “It was quite a culture shock going from Denmark to Italy.

“I found it hard to adapt, things were a bit chaotic and that is why I then decided to come to England – I knew it would be a bit like Denmark and I also spoke the language.

“Last season, I remember playing against Preston for Charlton.

“You could see then that they were a team, not a collection of individuals.

“Since I came in last week, I’ve been made very welcome and have found this a friendly place to be.

“The spirit is good and the players are willing to help each other out.

“There are no separate groups, everyone is together.”

North End manager Simon Grayson sees Makienok as a key addition to the squad.

While the frontman was not exactly prolific for Charlton last season, Grayson believes there were mitigating circumstances.

“Simon has a good touch and obviously carries an aerial threat,” said Grayson.

“He started last season really well for Charlton when they were up near the top of the division.

“For whatever reason, they went on a downward spiral and ended up being relegated.

“Charlton played in a slightly different way after a change of manager, so Simon probably didn’t get the type of service he would like.

“We will be making sure we get balls into the box for him.”