End-to-end stuff for PNE boss

Paul Gallagher could be back in PNE's squad at Sheffield Wednesday
Paul Gallagher could be back in PNE's squad at Sheffield Wednesday
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Simon Grayson has selection worries at one end of the pitch but options aplenty at the other for Preston’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough tomorrow.

Going forward, he has Stevie May, Will Keane, Eoin Doyle and Jordan Hugill competing to replace Joe Garner, who starts a three-match ban.

Paul Gallagher could also be in contention to return to an attacking midfield role after missing all of September’s games with a calf injury.

Numbers are thinner on the ground at the back, with Bailey Wright suspended. His natural replacement is Paul Huntington, who has been nursing a hamstring strain and has sat out three games.

If the Yorkshire trip comes too soon for Huntington, it leaves Tom Clarke as the only available centre-half.

Should Huntington and Gallagher prove their fitness, their returns would be most welcome.

Gallagher’s creativity has been missed, with the Lilywhites without a win during his absence.

North End boss Grayson said: “Gally is making progress, as is Hunts, and hopefully they will be available.

“If they miss this one, I’m sure they will fit for the first game after the internationals.

“Bailey serves a one-game ban and Joe is out for three, so we have people to replace.”

An appeal to the FA over the length of Garner’s ban for his sending off against Wolves, fell on deaf ears.

PNE did not appeal the red card itself but asked the FA to reduce the punishment.

Said Grayson: “We didn’t think we would get the red card overturned but we tried for a reduction of the ban.

“Unfortunately, the FA stuck with the original decision and Joe is out for three games.

“That gives someone else a chance to stake a claim and we have some good options.

“Bailey’s suspension is not ideal because we are a bit short at the back.

“We will give Hunts every chance to play, while we have got the loan market to go into as a fallback.

“It is no secret that we have tried to strength the defence – we attempted to get someone on transfer deadline day.

“In the last two or three games we have played a flat back four, so having three centre-backs for two places is not a bad situation.

“But to have lost one to injury and then another through suspension, has not been the best thing for us.”

PNE will face an Owls side which has undergone a big change since the summer.

There has been a revamp of the squad and coaching staff, Carlos Carvalhal the head coach who Grayson will be next to in the technical area.

“Wednesday have spent a lot of money and a lot of players have come in from different countries,” said Grayson.

“Hillsborough is a good venue to play football at and we’ll give it our best shot.

“They have players who can do things off the cuff and 
hurt you, but they will also have to be respectful of what we can do.”