Danish sizzler for PNE

Simon Makienok is showing he's no one-trick pony according to Preston North End boss Simon Grayson.

Tuesday, 20th December 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:02 pm
Simon Makienok

The Great Dane scored the opener in 2-1 win at Bristol City as he made it two goals in two games, having been on target at Nottingham Forest a few days earlier.

On the fringes for long periods after his summer loan move from Italian side Palermo, the 26-year-old has starred in the last two games, while Jordan Hugill was given a breather.

The pair played alongside each other in the win over Blackburn before Makienok got the nod at the City Ground and Ashton Gate.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

As well as getting on the scoresheet twice, his all-round play has impressed leading the line.

“Simon’s a handful – he’s not just an aerial threat,” said Grayson.

“He brings people into the game, gets into the middle of the pitch. We changed things around at Bristol City and he did well.

“Whoever scores them, though, it doesn’t really matter as long as we keep scoring them.”

Keep scoring is what PNE have done, their return in front of goal having been one obvious improvement since last season. The burden has been spread around the squad as well, Hugill having six and Callum Robinson five, while Daniel Johnson has found his scoring form with three in his last three games.

North End have already scored 30 this season in 22 games, having managed just 45 in the entire 2015-16 campaign.

“When you look at the players, they are confident in their ability,” said Grayson.

“We’ve also changed certain things that we’ve looked at as a staff. We’ve got better quality players now as well.

“Players are growing into the Championship and creating more chances.”

The reality is North End could have had even more success in front of goal, Grayson ruing missed chances in the 1-1 draw at Forest and seeing others come and go, before Johnson sealed the 2-1 win at Bristol City.

“We’d like to think we should have had more goals than we have because of the number of clear opportunities we’ve had in the last 
couple of games,” said Grayson.

“As a manager when you see the chances going by you think, ‘It is going to be one of those days again’, the second goal is crucial in any game.

“It makes it even more of a result for us on Saturday that we showed immense character that we didn’t accept the 1-1 and we went on to try and win it again.”