PNE say play it again Sam

Another run-out: Sam Winnall
Another run-out: Sam Winnall
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Preston North End will cast their eye again over trialist strikers Sam Winnall and Akpo Sodje in tonight’s visit to AFC Wimbledon.

Both featured as second-half substitutes against AEK Athens, and did enough to earn another run-out against The Dons at Kingsmeadow.

Sodje was the more involved of the pair on Saturday after replacing Chris Beardsley, 
who has played throughout pre-season as a trialist.

North End are well aware of the need to bolster their forward line, with at least one new striker on the wish-list.

Until the start of the month, 32-year-old Sodje was playing for Chinese club Tianjin Teda where one of his team-mates was ex-PNE midfielder Veliche Shumulikoski.

Wolves front man Winnall, 21, has been restricted to just a single first-team appearance with the Molineux club.

But he’s had spells on loan at Burton, Hereford and Inverness Caledonian.

The most successful of those came at Burton when he scored seven goals in the second half of the 2010/11 campaign.

Another trialist likely to feature again this evening is goalkeeper Jose Moreira.

He’s played in four of the friendlies to date and has emerged as a strong candidate to fill the keeper vacancy at Deepdale.

Moreira made two good saves after coming on in the second half against AEK.

Regarding the possibility of signing him, North End boss Graham Westley said: “We’ll make a decision when we’re ready.

“There are a number of things in such a decision – whether we want the player, whether the player wants to be here and whether we can afford him to be here.

“There are other players here in the same boat as Jose, and I believe in a policy of talking about things like that when they are completed.”

North End are likely to be without Jack King against Wimbledon.

The midfielder, signed from Woking on a Bosman, had to be substituted at half-time on Saturday after getting a kick on the ankle.

Said Westley: “Jack took a bang and was sore enough to have to come off.

“He’ll need a bit of rest to get over it but he’ll be fine.

“Jack probably won’t play tonight and probably won’t be able to do much training this week.

“But I think we’ll be able to get him ready in time to play at the weekend.

“We’ve got one or two other knocks, which is not unusual for this time of year.

“The Wimbledon game is another part of our pre-season preparations.

“I’m quite pleased with where our fitness levels are at.

“During the early part of pre-season you have to get your endurance levels right.

“Then once you get that work done, you put the speed endurance on top of that.

“We have been getting through the work in the games played so far, but not in such a zippy fashion.

“Over the next couple of weeks we’ll sharpen the knife and add to that side of our game.”

Tonight’s game is PNE’s first ever meeting with AFC Wimbledon, who have achieved five promotions since being formed in 2002.

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