In at the deep end for PNE new boy

Callum Robinson made his PNE debut against Chesterfield in midweek
Callum Robinson made his PNE debut against Chesterfield in midweek
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Preston North End new boy Callum Robinson admitted that his Deepdale debut in Tuesday night’s draw with Chesterfield was a baptism of fire.

The Aston Villa youngster joined the action as a 66th-minute substitute with PNE 3-1 ahead but clinging on by their fingertips to the lead.

It was an advantage which they were to let slip, with the Spireites scoring twice in the last 11 minutes to draw 3-3.

Robinson, 19, looked bright and lively in his 25 minutes on the pitch, playing on the left-hand side of North End’s attack.

While enjoying being given his debut so soon after sealing the move, it was tinged with the disappointment of being pegged back by the visitors.

Preston agreed the youth loan deal with Villa on Tuesday morning, Robinson then travelling up the M6 to meet his new team-mates ahead of kick-off.

Robinson told the Evening Post: “Personally, I enjoyed making my Preston debut but as a team we were annoyed in the dressing room afterwards with how the result went.

“The way the lads were talking, they can do better and we have another home match on Saturday to try and put things right.

“My move here all happened quite quickly. On Monday night I first heard about it but it was only on Tuesday when I arrived at Villa that they told me I was going to Preston.

“I just jumped in the car and drove up. I saw the stadium in the afternoon, went to a hotel for a pre-match meal, then met the lads in the dressing room.

“I’m not too familiar with all the lads yet but as the week goes on I will get to know them a bit more.”

Robinson arrived at PNE with five games for Villa in his locker – four of them in the Premier League at the back end of last season.

He has been at Villa since the age of eight, and has played for England at four different age groups, scoring twice for the Under-20s against Romania earlier in the month.

Said Robinson: “This is my first time out at another club and I’m determined to do my best here.

“I can play up front or on the wing – I used to be a winger before moving up front.

“Last season I played four times for Villa in the Premier League and once in the cup.

“This season I haven’t made an appearance, so it is great that I have come to this big club to get games.

“My best mate at Villa is Jack Grealish, who played 37 games on loan for Notts County last season.

“He is back at Villa now and flying, and Jack told me that playing in League One helped him so much.”

PNE boss Simon Grayson said: “Callum is a player we have been aware of for a while but it was only on Monday night that we got a call to say that he had been given the green light to go on loan.

“We moved quickly and we feel we have an exciting talent on our hands.

“It is a youth loan which can be extended and is not limited to 93 days.”