Full-back dilemma for PNE boss

Scott Wiseman got the nod at right-back on Saturday
Scott Wiseman got the nod at right-back on Saturday
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Simon Grayson says that choosing between Scott Wiseman and Calum Woods for the Preston North End right-back shirt is a close call.

he PNE boss gave the nod to Wiseman for Saturday’s win at Coventry and the former Barnsley man responded with a strong performance.

It was only his third start of the season, with summer signing Woods having been the preferred option in the main.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “Scott gives us energy at right-back and I thought he did very well at the weekend.

“He and Calum Woods are different kinds of right-back so it is good to have such options.

“Calum, I would suggest, is probably a little bit of a better defender in one-versus-one situations but Scott gives you a bit more going forward.

“If you had a mix of the two then he would be playing in the Premier League, wouldn’t he?

“Neither Scott or Calum have let me down and these tough calls are decisions which I have to make.

“It is much the same with the left-back position – we have some good competition there.

“What I tell players when they are out of the team is to keep themselves right and ready for when they get the opportunity to play.”

Both Wiseman and Woods limped away from the Ricoh Arena at the weekend.

Wiseman suffered a bout of cramp in the latter stages of the game and was replaced in the 85th minute by Woods.

In his short time on the pitch, Woods tweaked his hamstring and was a virtual passenger during the closing moments of stoppage time.

Wiseman does not appear to be in any danger of missing this weekend’s Deepdale clash with Colchester but Woods’ sore hamstring could prove more of a problem.

Said Grayson: “Scott should be okay. His injury was a bit of cramp and it won’t be an issue for the next game.

“Calum just tweaked his hamstring making a clearance and we will have to see where we are with that one.

“I thought that both Scott and Chris Humphrey who came in on Saturday, did very well down the right-hand side.

“We knew we had to have energy and legs about us to match Coventry and they both gave us that.”

After the Colchester game, Wiseman will head off on international duty with Gibraltar, who face two Euro 2016 qualifiers.

They play the Republic of Ireland at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium a week on Saturday and then tackle Georgia in Faro four days later.

North End should have been in action at Swindon Town during the international break.

But call-ups for three of the Wiltshire club’s players has seen the visit to the County Ground rearranged for Tuesday, November 4, kick-off 7.45pm.

It means plenty of midweek travelling for the Preston faithful – they are away to Gillingham (Oct 21), Leyton Orient (Oct 28) and Swindon on consecutive Tuesday nights.