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Morgan back in PNE frame

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Preston North End will be looking to mark Gentry Day with a return to form against Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow.

A visit to the promotion-chasing Owls (12.45pm) would have been a tough assignment at any time.

But the heat has been turned up on North End by the miserable performance in last Tuesday’s night 3-1 home defeat to Brentford.

They need a much-improved display in front of their bowler hat-wearing supporters to restore faith.

And points, of course, are still required to reach the League One safety mark.

Graham Westley is set to call on Craig Morgan for the first time in two months at Hillsborough.

The centre-half has disappeared from view since being sent off at Yeovil at the end of January, a bout of tendonitis in his foot one of the reasons.

But Westley looks likely to be without Neil Mellor, who spent last season on loan at Wednesday.

The knee he had surgery on before Christmas swollen up after his substitute appearance against Bury last week.

And a further trip to the operating theatre could yet be needed.

Westley is looking forward to the clash in South Yorkshire, which is being shown live on Sky Sports.

He said: “I would expect the team to want to go into the game with real relish.

“It’s a fantastic fixture, with there being a great crowd at Hillsborough, a great surface and an opportunity to put themselves on show on TV.

“Since Tuesday, the players have worked with good spirit and energy.

“No one wants to be where we were the other night – it didn’t feel good.

“When you get things wrong in football it’s a very public thing – when you get it wrong, it doesn’t feel good at all.

“The lads were very honest after the game. They knew they had ducked responsibility with the ball.

“The body blow of the goals conceded and the mistakes made for them, knocked the stuffing out of the team.

“They went hiding and missing, but they’ll learn from it.”

Morgan returns to contention having come through a 90-minute training game on Tuesday.

It’s likely that Daniel Devine will make way for him, the Irish teenager having been substituted in the first half against Brentford.

There could be a return to the squad too for David Gray, who has been sidelined in recent weeks by a hamstring strain.

Said Westley: “Morgan has been training for two-and-a-half weeks now.

“We pushed through a game in training on Tuesday morning. He got through 90 minutes and was excellent.

“He looked accomplished, as you expect him to.

“Morgs is a big player, the sort you want in your side if he is fit and available.

“With Neil Mellor, it’s a difficult one.

“He came on for 10 minutes against Bury and that forced him out of the Brentford game.

“There’s been a little flare-up in the knee, so we’ll see if it settles down.

“Maybe he’ll need a bit of work done on it.”

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