Kevin happy to be back leading PNE line

Kevin Davies has started PNE's last two league games
Kevin Davies has started PNE's last two league games
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Kevin Davies is enjoying his 30-something partnership with Jermaine Beckford in Preston North End’s front line.

The experienced forward duo have played the last two league games together and a third start looks likely against Barnsley at Deepdale.

Davies’ starts against MK Dons and Peterborough were a welcome change after the 37-year-old had spent much of the season on the bench.

In fact, the MK Dons game was his first League One start this term.

Beckford, 31, is now a month into his loan from Bolton Wanderers, a stay which will run until the end of the campaign.

The signs are there of a budding partnership and what is needed in the coming games are a few more goals.

Against Peterborough last Saturday, Beckford hit PNE’s winner to get off the mark for his new employers – Davies claiming the assist.

In terms of finding the back of the net himself, Davies has been stuck on 149 career goals since late January.

Scoring against Barnsley or in Sunday’s visit to Crewe would surely be the ideal Christmas present for him.

Davies told the Evening Post: “Jermaine and myself were having a chat before the Peterborough game.

“I was saying, ‘One of us has to score today’ and Jermaine came up with the goal.

“The partnership has been looking quite promising I would say.

“Peterborough and MK Dons were two completely different types of games but we worked well together in both of them.

“It was more of a battling performance which was needed at Peterborough.

“Against MK Dons we were on top and played some really good football.

“Peterborough was more a ‘roll your sleeves up’ type of game.

“I enjoy playing alongside Jermaine and he is enjoying playing next to me.

“Hopefully we can keep that relationship going and help keep the team on this good run we are on.

“From a personal point of view, it is nice to be starting games again.

“I could not have any complaints earlier in the season about not starting.

“The team were playing well and getting results and the manager was playing a system which had Joe Garner up front on his own.

“My chance in the league has come since Joe got injured and that is what football can be all about – getting an unexpected chance and taking that chance.

“I’ve been pretty pleased with how I’ve done, although I have not scored yet, which is a bit frustrating.

“But we have been picking up points which is the main thing.

“It is nice to be back among it all – starting games is what all players want and I’m no different.

“We’ve got Barnsley next and it is important we get a good result to build on the win at Peterborough.”

It was a Davies flick which played in Beckford to score the contest’s only goal at London Road last Saturday.

Victory over Posh was one which is regarded as significant within the North End 

“That was a really big win for us, going to another club who are expected to be up there challenging for promotion,” said Davies.

“We did the same thing at Bristol City last month and also at Leyton Orient who were up there last season.

“It is results like that which give us that belief. I thought that it was a really good away performance at Peterborough – we got blocks in when we needed to and generally Thorsten Stuckmann was fairly quiet.

“Peterborough probably had a bit more of the possession but in terms of chances, we had the more clear-cut ones.

“There was nothing negative about that performance and result at all.”

With his 38th birthday coming up in March and an 800th career game not far off, playing over Christmas is nothing new for Davies.

In fact, the festive matches are some of the most eagerly awaited by players as well as supporters.

Davies said: “You get used to playing at Christmas – it is part of the job.

“Last weekend I did some television commentary for a German game – their winter break is now kicking in.

“Afterwards I shared a cab with Owen Hargreaves and we were talking about the structure in Germany. We discussed playing over Christmas here and it is such a tradition.

“The Boxing Day games tend to have a different type of atmosphere about the place.

“Sometimes it can be a bit hard on the family playing over Christmas but you learn to plan things around it.

“Whether you train on Christmas Day tends to depend on results and if a manager thinks he has a squad he can trust, there is not a problem.

“I have played for managers who train early on Christmas Day so you can get away quickly, others have you in later in the day, while some don’t have you in at all.”