PNE aiming to do business

RECENT ADDITION: Luke Foster, right, after scoring for Preston at Coventry City
RECENT ADDITION: Luke Foster, right, after scoring for Preston at Coventry City
Share this article
Have your say

Preston North End boss Graham Westley predicts more transfer activity – in and out of Deepdale – before the close of the January window next Thursday.

Their incoming business so far this month has seen the arrivals of Joe Garner and Paul Connolly, while Luke Foster earned himself a deal for the rest of the season.

Going through the exit door have been Steve Simonsen, Chris Holroyd, David Amoo and Keammar Daley after having their contracts cancelled by mutual consent.

Westley has his sights on targets he wants to bring in but recognises that room needs creating in the squad, both in terms of numbers and budget.

He has had talks with a few players about possible departures, although nothing is set in stone as yet.

“I’ve been in conversation with some of the lads trying to work things out,” Westley told the Evening Post.

“It is difficult if players you want to part company with don’t want to go.

“You have to respect each other and realise that you could still be working together in the months to come.

“Sometimes when you have the conversation about wanting to part company, something can click with a player.

“They start realising what you actually want from them and start forcing their way into your plans.

“I’m being as honest as I can with the lads about the things which need to be done.

“We’re in a position where we have to get one out to get one in.

“We’re not going to go down the road of spending beyond our means, which other clubs have done – that is not our game plan. I’m trying to build a winning team and I would have loved to have done that a lot quicker than I have.”

As in the case of Simonsen, Amoo and Holroyd – and Akpo Sodje, who left before Christmas – any further departures are set to be players who Westley has signed in his tenure.

That is something which he is prepared to live with, admitting that not all signings work out.

Said Westley: “When you put a squad together with so many new faces, some elements aren’t going to work.

“They are all good lads here but sometimes the chemistry isn’t quite right in certain areas.

“In such circumstances you have to be big enough to say something isn’t working, let’s move on.

“The easy thing would be to do nothing and let things continue.

“I was consistent in saying ahead of the window and now that we’re in it, that I’d like to see four or five players come in and the same number out.

“That is still my thinking and it has to be done within the squad budget.

“There is work afoot to make things happen.

“My job is to steadily improve us, find a way of going from 16th to 12th, from 12th up to eighth place, from eighth to fourth and so on.

“What we’ve seen this season is us producing our best performances when we have our strongest side on the pitch.

“But we have struggled with the depth of the squad which hasn’t been sufficient when players have been missing – I can’t hide from that.”