Callum is doing just fine, says PNE boss

Callum Robinson
Callum Robinson
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Simon Grayson says that loan striker Callum Robinson is living up to expectations at Preston North End since arriving from Aston Villa.

Although the teenager has so far had limited first-team opportunities, PNE manager Grayson has seen plenty from the teenager in two substitute appearances and in training.

Robinson, 19, is on a 33-day youth loan from Villa which has another fortnight to run and Grayson would be open to trying to extend it.

He will be in the Lilywhites squad for today’s game against Colchester at Deepdale (3pm) before joining-up with the England Under-20s squad tomorrow.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “Callum is doing fine, he has settled well in the dressing room and knocks around with the two midfield maestros Josh Brownhill and Alan Browne.

“You can see the ability he has, why Aston Villa rate him so highly and why we have brought him here.

“He has good pace, good feet and has a goal in him too.

“I’m sure he wants to start in the team every week but he understands the situation.

“Extending his loan here is something to consider later on but if you were to ask me would I extend it now, I would say an immediate ‘yes’.

“We will speak to Aston Villa about it when the time comes.

“If they keep all of their players fit and available, there should not be any problem.”

Grayson has the option of using Robinson as a central striker or out wide.

In his two sub appearances against Chesterfield and Coventry, he played on the left hand side of the attack.

“Callum is a versatile lad like many players have to be these days,” said Grayson.

“He has played down the middle with England, while in Villa’s Under-21s he has been used both up front and in wide areas.

“A lot of teams are using 4-3-3 at the moment and strikers have to be able to move out wide if necessary.”

North End made their move for Robinson to bolster the forward line after strike pair Jordan Hugill and Kevin Davies were hurt in last month’s defeat at Walsall.

Both injuries turned out to be serious, with Hugill suffering cartilage damage which will keep him out for six months while Davies was found to have cracked a rib.

Hugill has already started along the road to recovery, with Grayson backing him to have the strength of character to come back better for the experience.

“Jordan is already able to do some work on the bike in the gym, that is the first stage of his rehabilitation,” said Grayson.

“He is in good hands with our physio and the medical department.

“When you have someone with a long-term injury it is important to keep them integrated in the squad.

“Our medical staff will know when to treat him, when to work him and when to give him a bit of time off.

“Jordan has plenty of character and spirit, he did his anterior cruciate ligment when he was younger and battled back from that.

“He will come back stronger and fitter. Before this he had been one of our best players.”