End-to-end stuff for PNE boss

So close: Akpo Sodje saw a header cannon against the post against Leyton Orient
So close: Akpo Sodje saw a header cannon against the post against Leyton Orient
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Graham Westley wants Preston North End to sharpen up at both ends of the pitch in the wake of defeat to Leyton Orient.

Missed opportunities cost them dear at Brisbane Road, with them failing to turn any of their 23 chances into goals during the 2-0 loss.

Orient showed a more clinical streak at the other end to twice find the net, Westley unimpressed with his side’s defending for both.

Substitute Akpo Sodje hit the post for North End, three efforts were blocked on the line, while O’s keeper Ryan Allsop was kept busy throughout.

But for the second successive game they fired blanks, this reverse bringing to an end a seven-match unbeaten run.

Westley said: “Our 23 attempts on goal to Orient’s eight suggests we got a lot of things right, but the scoreline shows we got enough wrong.

“We have to make sure we keep building in order to turn 23 chances into 25 and then 30, while at the same time cutting the number of chances the opposition have at our goal.

“Orient were clinical in finishing their chances and ruthless in defending their box when they were put under pressure.

“We obviously didn’t do as good a job in the two boxes and results come down to what you do in those 18-yard boxes.

“Our approach play I was pleased with, to create 23 chances suggests we played some good stuff to get there.

“We worked the ball well, showed a good purpose, and even when we were 2-0 down, displayed a real sense of determination to get back into the game.

“As we looked for a way back, we tried to played intelligently, working the ball into some good situations. Their goal lived a charmed life didn’t it?

“I’m not happy with the two goals we conceded, both were poor from our point of view.

“One was an unmarked header from a set piece, the other a straight ball in which should have been dealt with.

“Look at Orient, they defended their box manfully with blocks and challenges. All sorts was going on in there but they still kept a clean sheet.”

Westley admitted that the loss of three key players from the side had affected some elements of North End’s game.

Scott Laird, Keith Keane and Jeffrey Monakana were all sidelined, with Laird and Keane long-term absentees.

Laird is out for the season with a broken left leg while Keane’s knee injury has been diagnosed as cartilage damage, with him missing for at least the next couple of months.

A knock picked up in training kept Monakana out of the game, with debutant Todd Kane filling in for him on the right side of midfield.

Said Westley: “The two injuries to our full-backs in the week were a major disruption, then Jeffrey went down in training on Thursday.

“We had three big players going out of the side, so trying to adjust to that and improve our performance levels was difficult.

“I started Todd Kane in midfield instead of in his natural right-back position because learning our back four system in one session was going to be tough for him.

“We put him in there as a replacement for Jeffrey.

“Todd had some good scoring chances and on another day would have scored a hat-trick.”