No rush for PNE new boy

Craig Davies (left) after scoring against Notts County last Saturday
Craig Davies (left) after scoring against Notts County last Saturday
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Preston North End will be careful not to pile the workload on Craig Davies too soon after his arrival on loan at De

The striker is available again for today’s visit to Tranmere, having had to sit out the FA Cup replay against Nottingham Forest as he was cup tied.

Davies made a goalscoring debut in the 2-0 win over Notts County a week ago.

He played 78 minutes of that game before being substituted, with PNE boss Simon Grayson mindful that the 28-year-old had injury problems at parent club Bolton.

Grayson said: “Craig wants to build off that 70-odd minutes last week.

“We have to manage him right and not rush him too much because he had a hamstring injury in the early part of the season at Bolton.

“This week he has been able to do some training and get himself more used to the club after coming in so close to the Notts County game.”

Comparisons have been made between new boy Davies and his namesake Kevin Davies, but Grayson insists the pair are different kinds of strikers.

“The only similarity between Craig and Kevin is that they are both 6ft 2ins and called Davies,” said Grayson.

“No disrespect meant to Kevin – but Craig is more mobile. He can run the channels and has pace. We all saw last week what he is capable of doing.

“We are extremely pleased to have him and in conversations I’ve had with a lot of people, it’s been said what a good signing he is for us and they were surprised that Bolton let him out.”

After being in and around the Bolton side at the start of the season, injury meant that Davies featured in only two games in five months.

His recall to the Wanderers side came less than a week before he was allowed to join North End.

Grayson is adamant that the signing of Davies does not mean the end of the road for some of the other strikers at the club.

Joe Garner, Iain Hume and Stuart Beavon also provide options up front, while Paul Gallagher and Jack King can play there too.

Beavon’s last taste of action came in the 2-2 draw at Crawley on December 14 and Hume has had to be content with a substitute’s role in recent games.

Said Grayson: “Promotions are won by strikers scoring goals to win matches.

“We have got different types of players up top.

“Certain lads have not been getting any game time of late or coming off the bench but they will get an opportunity.

“Somewhere down the line they will start a game after being out of the picture.

“I have stressed to the players many times that it is going to be a squad game which carries us forward.

“We have had enquiries for one or two of our strikers which we have turned down because I don’t want them going out.

“At the moment I have no inclination or thoughts of letting any strikers go out on loan.

“Why should we allow any other club to benefit from our strikers?”