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Shane’s cup is running over

Tough it out: Cansdell-Sherriff says PNE did what they needed to at Hartlepool

Tough it out: Cansdell-Sherriff says PNE did what they needed to at Hartlepool

Shane Cansdell-Sherriff is up for the cup after helping Preston North End steer their league form back on course on New Year’s Day.

North End’s League One campaign takes a back seat for the next few days, with a trip to Millwall in the FA Cup tomorrow on the agenda.

That is followed by next Thursday night’s clash with Coventry City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Graham Westley takes his side into the New Den clash in better shape than they were last weekend.

A 3-0 home defeat to Doncaster left PNE supporters angry and frustrated.

But they bounced back at Hartlepool on Tuesday afternoon, the 1-0 victory ending an eight-game winless run in the league.

It was not exactly a case of bouncing back in style, more a case of the Lilywhites grinding out three points in testing conditions on Teesside.

Defender Cansdell-Sherriff admitted it had been a battle against the division’s bottom club, although the win was gladly received.

Now he’s got his sights trained on the visit to South London, a buoyant Millwall side awaiting them.

Cansdell-Sherriff told the Evening Post: “It’s a very big cup tie for us.

“I’m not sure how Millwall will approach it with them going well in their league.

“But I think we are more than capable of going down there and putting in a good performance.

“We’ll have to work hard to get the right result, but it’s the FA Cup so you never know what might happen.

“I’ve enjoyed a few good moments in the cup – results for my previous clubs against Middlesbrough and Stoke spring to mind.

“It does feel a bit different playing in the cup competitions, it’s difficult to explain why.

“Playing a club from the Championship will be a good test for us and we’ve done well when we’ve played teams from that level before.

“The win at Hartlepool came at the right time. We needed that.

“Okay, they are at the bottom of the table but it was still a tough place to go. Hopefully the three points can get us moving forward again.”

John Mousinho’s first goal for North End just before the interval gave them the win at Victoria Park.

The second half was all about keeping hold of that slender advantage, something PNE did fairly comfortably.

It was only deep into stoppage time when Pools got a look-in, the awarding of a free-kick in their favour seeing them send all 11 players into the box.

That spell of pressure saw Steve Simonsen save well from home substitute Luke James, and in the scramble that followed, a Steve Howard effort was scrambled off the line by Mousinho.

Said Cansdell-Sherriff: “Sometimes it happens that when you can see the finishing line, you just loosen up a little bit.

“We knew Hartlepool were always going to push forward for an equaliser in the second half.

“The lads defended well, put their heads in there and came out with a clean sheet.

“It was a bit of a fight but sometimes that’s the way you have to win.

“The conditions weren’t the easiest to play in.

“It was windy and there were a few times when I watched the ball move all over the place, making it hard to judge.

“John’s goal was a big boost for him and us.

“We’d done quite a bit of work on set pieces in training on Monday, including on that corner routine.

“John did well to lose his man, get in there and get on the end of Stuart Beavon’s corner.

“Full marks to Beavon too for his delivery, the practice paid off.

“We’d gone into that game knowing how disappointing we were against Doncaster.

“It was important we responded to that defeat and we showed the character to bounce back after a setback.

“Since Hartlepool we’ve concentrated on recovering and getting ourselves right to play Millwall.

“The FA Cup is important to us and we’d like to have a good run.”

Cansdell-Sherriff featured at left-back at Hartlepool, returning to the team after three games on the sidelines.

He missed the league games against Coventry and Bury after his red card at Gigg Lane in the JPT last month.

Against Doncaster he was an unused substitute, his return on New Year’s Day seeing David Buchanan pushed into a midfield role.

After starting the season alongside Paul Huntington in the centre-half berths, it is been at left-back where the Australian has played most of his football recently.

He and Buchanan are the options there following the loss of Scott Laird to a broken leg in November.

Cansdell-Sherriff is happy with either role.

He said: “I don’t mind where I play as long as I’m helping the side out.

“It’s just nice to get out 
there on the pitch and do my bit.”

 

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