PNE star aiming to hold on to first-team shirt

Kevin Davies
Kevin Davies
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Kevin Davies says he has no complaints about the more limited role which he has played in the Preston North End squad of late.

The experienced striker’s start in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Stevenage was only his third in the last couple of months.

He lost his place through suspension after being sent off against Coventry in January and has, in the main, had to make do with a substitute’s role since.

Davies, 36, got the nod to start in midweek as North End boss Simon Grayson went for strength to match Stevenage’s physical approach.

And he will be hoping to hold on to his place for Monday night’s televised clash against Sheffield United – the side he supported as a boy.

Said Davies: “I got sent off in the Coventry game and found myself out of the side.

“The lads who have been in the side have done well, both in terms of scoring and looking a threat.

“So I have no qualms about not having started too much recently.

“I will keep working hard in training and be ready for when I’m needed, whether that is a start or coming off the bench.

“The manager has stressed to everyone in the squad that we will all have a part to play in the run-in. Hopefully I will have my part to play between now and the end of the season.

“I will leave that up to the manager, and whoever plays, we will all back each other up.

“We have got a great group of lads in the dressing room and that is one of the reasons why we are doing well.”

The North End squad returned to training yesterday afternoon after a visit to the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday.

Some of them left the races a bit better off in the pocket after backing Hawk High, a horse owned by PNE owner Trevor Hemmings.

The long shot won the Juvenile Handicap hurdle, with North End boss Grayson cursing himself that he had not backed it!

Grayson said: “We had a good trip, especially with Mr Hemmings’ horse winning at 40-1. With us only playing on Monday, this was a chance to get away from a football environment and have a day out.

“I was with Mr Hemmings when his horse won. We were in the parade ring watching on the big screen. I was cheering it on but also thinking ‘don’t win’ because I hadn’t put a bet on it.

“I had backed all of Mr Hemmings’ other horses and not won, and the one I didn’t back went and won. I did tell him that I was pleased, as it was extra revenue in the coffers for another player!”