Mat to the future for PNE
Preston boss Simon Grayson says putting young keeper Mathew Hudson on the bench against Norwich instead of Anders Lindegaard was not a snap decision.
After being a substitute for the last 29 games, Lindegaard was left out of the squad for the Easter Monday defeat.
Hudson, 18, got the nod to act as cover for Chris Maxwell at Deepdale.
Grayson told the Post: “I made a decision based on what I have seen over the last few weeks with the goalkeeper situation.
“I felt it was the right thing for Mathew to be on the bench against Norwich.”
Lindegaard was not on the pitch in the warm-up before the game, with Maxwell and Hudson joined by youth team keeper Callum Roberts.
The Dane is coming to the end of his contract at PNE and looks certain to leave during the summer.
Last week, his agent spoke in the Danish media about Lindegaard looking for his next move.
Michael Stensgaard said: “As it looks now, he must leave Preston.
“We are about to explore what options there are for after the summer.”
Lindegaard, 33, started the season as PNE’s first-choice keeper after being on loan for the second half of last term.
In September he lost his place to Maxwell and has sat on the bench ever since, bar the 6-0 defeat at Newcastle in the League Cup.
Hudson made his senior debut as a substitute against Leeds in December 2015.
This season, the teenager had been on the bench twice prior to Monday.
The next step of Hudson’s career could be a loan spell in the 2017/18 campaign in order to get first-team experience.
At a fans’ forum last week, Grayson said the scrapping of the emergency loan window had prevented him lending Hudson out in case he was needed as cover.
If Lindegaard goes at the end of the season, Grayson will be in the market for another keeper.
With Roberts having been offered professional terms, that could free Hudson up for a loan spell.
North End have been linked with a summer move for Declan Rudd, who had two loan spells at Deepdale.
Rudd has spent the season on loan at Charlton Athletic from Norwich.
He is reaching the end of his contract with the Canaries but they do have a further 12-month option on him.
It is believed that Preston have kept tabs on Rudd since he left Deepdale in 2014.
But contrary to reports in the national media, they have not made a move for him at this stage.
Rudd played 69 games for PNE, 55 of those in the 2013/14 season.