PNE rubbish ‘Dirty tricks’ rumours

New arrival: Paul Connolly has joined from Leeds
New arrival: Paul Connolly has joined from Leeds
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Preston North End have denied allegations of deliberately ‘sabotaging’ Walsall’s dressing room ahead of Sunday’s defeat at Deepdale.

PNE, who last night signed right-back Paul Connolly on loan from Leeds United, were subject of accusations on social media sites in the aftermath of the 3-1 loss.

Claims were made of a lack of heating, no working electrical sockets and even missing toilet handles in the away changing room.

But PNE say any lowering of standards was down to unfinished maintenance work and refute any allegation of deliberate behaviour.

Walsall haven’t made any complaint, with sources in the West Midlands saying the only things to raise the Saddlers’ eyebrows were an absent plug socket and an air vent having been left open.

An addition to the home dressing room yesterday saw 29-year-old Connolly join North End for the rest of the season.

The arrival of the Liverpudlian will hopefully solve the problems PNE have had with the right-back slot since Keith Keane was sidelined by knee surgery in November.

He has been out of favour at Elland Road this season, with Graham Westley running the rule over him during Leeds’ reserves win over Blackpool in a friendly at Leeds’ Thorp Arch training ground last week.

Connolly kicked-off his career with Plymouth Argyle, making more than 150 league appearances for them before joining Derby County in 2008.

From there he moved on to Leeds two years later – via a loan spell at Sheffield United – and made 64 appearances for the Yorkshire club.

Earlier in the season he had a month on loan at Portsmouth, playing five games

He will join his new 
team-mates for training tomorrow and will make his North End debut against Yeovil at Huish Park on Saturday.

Connolly told the Evening Post: “I heard about Preston’s interest towards the end of last week.

“There were a few other clubs interested but I liked what Graham Westley had to say and I decided to sign.

“We were looking to try and get something settled before the Walsall game but it didn’t quite get done.

“As it was, I was laid low by a virus over the weekend, so I probably wouldn’t have been available anyway.

“This is a big club and I’m a North West lad, so I know plenty about Preston and its tradition.

“I know quite a few players who have been here or who are here now.

“Scott Laird was with me at Plymouth and Steve Simonsen was at Sheffield United.

“John Welsh and myself played in the same Liverpool schoolboys’ team.

“He had a chat with me about the place and told me we just needed to start getting some wins on the board.

“John thinks that once we get a win, a lot more will follow.”