Makienok finding his feet at PNE
Simon Makienok believes he is really beginning to find his feet at Preston North End.
The giant Danish striker scored his fifth PNE goal in the 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night as he started for the second game in succession.
The 6ft 7in front man led the line well as Jordan Hugill was given a breather and hopes a successful week in the side will continue at Bristol City on Saturday.
“I haven’t had a lot of opportunities from the start but I’ve played the last two and I always want to show what I can when I get my chance to start,” said Makienok.
“But when I come on the from the bench I want to make an impact
“I’m just always trying to do my best and help the team and score goals.
“I’ve played 90 minutes in the last two games and that’s what I need for my form and everything.
“I was bit tired in the last 20 minutes against Blackburn with the high tempo but on Wednesday night I felt better for another 90 minutes and hopefully I’ll push on from there.”
Having burst on to the PNE scene with a hat-trick in the EFL Cup at Bournemouth back in September, Makienok has since picked up vital goals at Brighton and Forest in the Championship.
The one in Nottingham was a fine team effort, Daniel Johnson’s pinpoint crossfield ball being cushioned by the head of Greg Cunningham into the path of the Dane, who did the rest from a few yards
“It was the perfect ball from DJ,” said Makienok, who then danced with the Jamaican in celebration.
“I always look for the crosses and this one went over my head but when I saw that I just turned into the box where the goals are made and hoped I would get an easy goal and it was a great header from Greg.
“I don’t care how I score my goals. If it’s a 30-yard screamer or a tap in it’s all the same to me.”
The 26-year-old is proving an asset in both boxes however, his height a good defensive weapon from set pieces.
“That’s always something I’ve done wherever I’ve played,” said Makienok.
“I’ve got an advantage there because of my height.
“I don’t mind defending at all especially from
free-kicks and corners.
“Of course I’ll help the team any way I can and they can benefit from my strength in the defensive area.”
With another away trip to come at Ashton Gate on Saturday, PNE have taken the decision not to head back north, giving the players plenty of time in each other’s company ahead of Saturday.
“It’s nice and I don’t think it’s anything the guys will be unhappy about,” said Makienok.
“Everything’s great in the squad and everyone is having fun together.
“Actually it’s nice getting a few days together.
“Even though it’s in a hotel we’ll do some different things and have a good time together.
“It’s obviously is the best thing to prepare for the game as well.”
A good team spirit has always been key to the success Simon Grayson has had during his time as Lilywhites manager,
every player knowing their chance will come sooner rather than later.
Makienok is a case in point and the man on loan from Palermo is impressed with the strength in depth the PNE boss has at his disposal, even with Paul Gallagher, Aiden McGeady, Jermaine Beckford and John Welsh unavailable in recent weeks.
“Everybody can go into the starting XI,” he said.
“The players on the bench, the players outside of the squad for whatever reason, anyone can come in.
“You can’t really see that we’re missing some players.
“The quality’s not dropping and everybody’s pitching in and showing they deserve to play when they get their chance.”
PNE head to the West Country having lost just two of their last 13 games in the Championship, sitting 11th in the table and six points outside the play-offs.
Confidence is high with Makienok insisting North End are heading into every game looking to be on the front foot, rather than simply trying to snatch a point here and there.
“Looking back over the last month and a half, we’re starting to find our way,” said the Dane.
“It’s incredible how competitive this league
“Of course it depends on how the game is but it’s always good not to lose, especially away from home.
“We always want to win our home games and if we can get a draw away then it’s not too bad.
“Even if we’re away from home we still try and go for the three points though and we’ll try and do that again on Saturday as we did on Wednesday at the City Ground .
“We went at them from the first minute and really went for the three
“That’s our mentality and that’s how we want to approach all the
“If we can get the three points it will set us up for Boxing Day and all the Christmas games coming up.”