PNE caretaker boss to find his voice

Keith Keane
Keith Keane
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John Dreyer will shake off the quiet man tag when he steps into the Deepdale technical area for Preston North End’s clash with Bournemouth today.

The North End caretaker boss tended to stay in the shadows when he was No.2 to Graham Westley, leaving Westley and Dino Maamria to patrol the touchline.

But with those two gone, the focus goes on Dreyer as he attempts to cajole PNE into life against the table-topping Cherries.

Dreyer told the Evening Post: “Trust me, I have always got plenty to say and I’ll say things at the right time. It’s important not to have too many voices and opinions being thrown at the players at any one time.

“That just causes confusion among the players when what you need are clear minds to go about their job.

“I’m aware that I stayed in the background in games and it was on purpose.

“Obviously that has to change for the Bournemouth game.”

With North End going into today’s contest on the back of three defeats, Dreyer has been busy trying to instill some confidence into the squad over the past two training sessions.

It’s been a simple build-up as the Lilywhites look for a performance to kick-start the campaign and get them moving away from the relegation zone which is far too close for comfort.

Said Dreyer: “I haven’t had enough time to put an arm around all the players, it’s been more a case of getting our heads down and looking at the situation.

“We had a few words the other day and then got on to the training pitch, simple as that, and they enjoyed it which was good to see.

“Are we in a relegation battle?

“I would rather have the players looking up than down, but on current form you would have to say that alarm bells are ringing.

“There is definitely cause for concern, purely based on recent results. But what is to say the next round of results will go the same way?

“Ever the optimist, I’m confident we can turn the situation around.

“There are a number of reasons why things have been going wrong, not excuses but reasons.

“When you look at results before injuries to certain players, they weren’t as bad as they are now. Those injuries haven’t helped, they’ve given us a big imbalance in the team.

“There are other things which have gone on, but the injury situation would be the main one for me.”

Dreyer’s first team selection will be of much interest to PNE supporters as he looks to make his mark, even if his spell in charge turns out to be brief one.

Keith Keane is pushing for a return after making his first-team comeback in the Yeovil defeat on Tuesday night.

He was an 83rd minute substitute at Huish Park, operating in the centre of midfield as oppose to the right-back slot which North End fans had become accustomed to seeing him in.

The late run in midweek was Keane’s first appearance since undergoing cartilage surgery on his knee in November.

Another substitute at Yeovil, David Buchanan, could be set for a start at left-back in place of Ben Davies.Buchanan replaced Davies in the second half, the teenager forced out of the action as he was suffering from cramp.