PNE are dangerous

Preston North End's Stuart Beavon
Preston North End's Stuart Beavon
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Graham Westley says Preston north End’s win over Stevenage showed what a ‘dangerous’ side they can be.

The 4-1 victory at Broadhall Way was achieved with four different scorers.

Spreading the goals around was one of Westley’s targets for his squad, with 14 players having found the net for them this season.

“We like sharing the goals around,” Westley told the Evening Post.

“Stuart Beavon is up front as the main man but if teams try and stop him playing, then other players will pop up.

“Likewise, if you don’t stop Beavon, he’ll pop up with a goal, as he showed at Stevenage.

“You saw the threat he posed on Saturday after he’d notched early in the game.

“When Stevenage tried to stifle the threat, that opened things up for Jack King, Jeffrey Monakana and Nicky Wroe.

“We are a dangerous outfit, no question about that.

“One of the things we are trying to develop at Preston is the next goal mentality.

“I don’t want us playing with fear that we are going to lose an advantage.

“The way I see it, is that if you have an advantage, go and get another goal so you have a bigger advantage.

“Saturday was probably one of the first times this season that we really did keep the ‘next goal’ mentality with us.

“We fought for the next goal, the next ball and the next pass. Over the 90 minutes we created a lot of chances.”

The North End boss felt his side were approaching their best in the Stevenage game.

That was in contrast to their performance a week earlier against Yeovil in the FA Cup, when they still managed a victory.

Said Westley: “If we are going to win trophies, then we have got to find a level where, if we are at 100% we win the game and win it well.

“When we are only at 80%, we have to just make sure we win it.

“That is what we are searching for here.

“We weren’t quite there when we played Yeovil the other week and still managed a 3-0 win.

“Against Stevenage we played far better, won again by a three-goal margin but were much more convincing.

“That is a sign that we are heading in the right direction.

“We’re five games unbeaten now in league and cup and we want to build on that.”

As North End wait for news on the injury suffered by Jeffrey Monakana late in the Stevenage game, Westley is slowly seeing his selection options increasing.

Lee Holmes got his first start on Saturday in 11 weeks, playing for more than an hour.

John Mousinho and David Buchanan also featured from the bench.

Club captain Mousinho took Holmes’ place in the 64th minute, his first slice of action since being laid low by mumps.

And Buchanan, who had missed seven games with a knee injury, was Monakana’s replacement when the teenager was carried off.

Westley said: “It was nice to look at the bench and see players of that quality available to us again.

“The more competition there is, the better it will be for us.

“We’ve got Lee Trundle starting training this week, so that’s another player who could soon be available.

“Lee Holmes getting a start was a real bonus.

“He was outstanding for someone who had played so little football over the last few weeks.

“The way he played showed how hard Lee had worked behind the scenes to keep himself fit and look after himself.

“I thought he was instrumental in so much of 
what we did at Stevenage.

“He caused them problems with his darting runs and positive positional play.

“We put him and Jeffrey on different wings to the ones they usually play.

“Stevenage’s full-backs both had good pace and were comfortable at defending down the outside.

“So we decided to try and get at them by coming on the inside.

“The team were intelligent in working the ball out to them in the wide areas.

“And the two wingers worked their full-backs in the way we had hoped.”

North End play host to eighth-placed Brentford this Saturday.