Davies set to join PNE’s promotion push

Craig Davies
Craig Davies
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Craig Davies was due to book in at Deepdale today and add some power to Preston North End’s promotion push.

PNE have agreed a deal with Bolton Wanderers to take the 28-year-old striker on loan for the rest of the season.

The formalities of the move were being completed this morning, with Davies going straight into the squad for tomorrow’s home game with Notts County (3pm).

Also in the squad will be Neil Kilkenny after North End successfully appealed against the red card he was shown in the midweek draw at Bradford.

With the transfer window shutting tonight, Lilywhites boss Simon Grayson was keen to bring in another striker.

He did not want to rely on doing business during the loan window where deals are restricted to 93 days.

By moving for Davies inside the January window, a loan could be done through until the end of the campaign and covering the play-offs.

Preston will be the 13th club of a somewhat nomadic career for the Wales international.

Davies kicked-off his career at Manchester City before moving to Oxford.

He had a brief experience of Italian football with Verona, returning to this country for a loan stay at Wolves.

His most prolific spell came in the 2010/11 season when he scored 25 games in 44 games at Chesterfield.

From there Davies joined Barnsley where he scored 20 goals, that form earning him a £300,000 move to Bolton in January last year.

He found games hard to come by at the Reebok Stadium, although has started Wanderers’ last two games against Cardiff in the FA Cup last week and at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night.

As well as Davies, North End had a strong interest in St Johnstone striker Stevie May.

It is understood that they had a substantial cash bid for 21-year-old May turned down by the SLP club this week.

St Johnstone are reluctant to lose the services of May in this window as they have a League Cup semi-final against Aberdeen tomorrow.

May has scored 19 goals in 28 appearances this season, and was prolific in loan spells with Hamilton and Alloa.

Peter Ridsdale, advisor to North End owner Trevor Hemmings, watched May score St Johnstone’s winner against Patrick 10 days ago.

Asked about a possible move for the striker, Grayson said: “He is a player who has scored many goals in Scotland.

“We are always on the look out for good players.”

Kilkenny’s availability for tomorrow’s game is both a boost and a surprise.

The midfielder and Bantams winger Kyle Bennett both got their marching orders on Tuesday following a grapple in the centre circle.

On the night, Grayson said he doubted that PNE would appeal.

But they did submit one – supported by video evidence – which was heard by the FA in London yesterday.

It was on the grounds that Kilkenny did not push Bennett in the neck or head, and the disciplinary panel agreed, upholding the appeal.

Bradford also appealed against Bennett’s ban and had it reduced to one game.