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PNE squad stretched

Preston North End's Lee Holmes

Preston North End's Lee Holmes

PRESTON North End’s squad will be stretched to its limits for tonight’s league clash with Carlisle United at Deepdale.

Graham Westley has injuries and suspension to contend with, and is likely to need the full depth of his squad against the Cumbrians.

Jeffrey Monakana misses out because of a one-match ban for collecting five bookings.

Shane Cansdell-Sherriff has added his name to an injury list already containing fellow defenders Bailey Wright and David Buchanan.

The Australian is facing up to four weeks out after suffering a hamstring strain in Saturday’s FA Cup win against Yeovil.

He could yet be joined on the sidelines this evening by Joel Byrom, who is struggling with the ankle injury caused by Ed Upson’s red-card challenge at the weekend.

But better news on the selection front comes in the form of John Welsh being available again after suspension.

Lee Holmes is on the comeback trail too after making his first appearance in 10 weeks as a second-half substitute against Yeovil.

That is a huge boost for Westley, who sees the winger as having a big part to play this season.

The PNE boss said: “It’s a bonus to have Lee back – he’s an unbelievably good player at this level.

“We haven’t moaned about him being out because we don’t complain about the players who are missing.

“You can only win games with the players you have got available.

“Lee will be a tremendous talent when we get him firing down that left side.

“With Monakana or David Amoo going down one side and Holmes the other, that is going to be hot to handle.”

Westley is disappointed not to have Monakana available, on the basis that some of his five cautions have been on the harsh side.

Amoo is likely to take his place on the wing after scoring as a substitute against 
Yeovil.

Said Westley: “I can’t remember Jeffrey once making a bad tackle.

“I can remember little nicks here and there, a young player not quite getting it right.

“I’ve watched his booking on Saturday four or five times again and I still can’t work out what it was for.

“The one consolation is that he has a full week to prepare for the weekend game.”

In order to fill the bench tonight, club captain John Mousinho could be called upon following his recovery from mumps.

“We might need to put someone in who isn’t quite right, so we can fill the bench places,” said Westley.

“Because of the mumps, John has looked more like Mr Blobby than a footballer!

“He is back training, in terms of being back at the training ground, and hopefully we can get him on to the training pitch this week.

“We’re looking forward to game tonight.

“Carlisle are a decent side, just behind us in the table 
with a similar record to ourselves.

“They have a threat which can do some damage if you allow it.

“We won’t underestimate what they can bring, but we also know that if we get our game right, then we can win.”

 

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