PNE star close to first start

Kyel Reid
Kyel Reid
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Simon Grayson is excited about having Kyel Reid’s pace to call on after the Preston North End winger took the latest stride forward in his comeback from a serious knee injury.

Reid got nearly half an hour of action under his belt in the 3-3 draw with Chesterfield on Tuesday night.

That was slightly ahead of schedule with the wideman having initially been pencilled in to play a reserve game that day instead.

But with the PNE front line stretched by suspension and injury in midweek, Reid got a seat on the bench and a run in the second-half.

It added to a slightly shorter time on the pitch during the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Shrewsbury at the start of the month.

Reid, who signed for North End in July after his contract at Bradford ended, damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee playing for the Bantams in January.

He will be on the bench for today’s clash with Crawley at Deepdale (3pm).

Lilywhites manager Grayson told the Evening Post: “Kyel is not quite there yet in terms of starting a game but is getting very close.

“In an ideal world he would have played against Wigan on Tuesday lunchtime in a reserve team game.

“However, we needed him for the first-team that night because of injuries.

“Kyel has been progressing really well and we are doing extra work with him on the training pitch after the other lads have finished.

“He is steadily getting back to where we want him to be.

“I think on Tuesday night people saw glimpses of why we brought him to the club.

“We have got a group of players will give us great pace and energy.

“Callum Robinson will do that, while you saw how Alan Browne and Josh Brownhill go up and down the pitch the other night – Will Hayhurst was the same.”

The loan deal which Preston struck with Aston Villa for striker Robinson has delighted Grayson.

It would be no surprise if the teenager started against Crawley.

Said Grayson: “Callum is a lad I have known about for a while, he’s been in and around Villa’s first team and I watched him in an Under-21s game recently.

“I liked what I saw and the opportunity to sign him came up on Monday night when I was sat at home.

“His agent gave me a call to say Villa were prepared to let him out on loan.

“I had known for a few weeks that we needed another striker.

“There hadn’t been any strikers over the last few weeks who have gone elsewhere who we thought would be any better than what we already had on the books.

“Callum falls straight into the category of someone a bit different and maybe better than what we have got.”

Meanwhile, PNE yesterday allowed Ben Davies to join Tranmere Rovers on a month’s long youth loan.

The youngster will stay at Prenton Park until October 22. It is a chance for regular game time, after David Buchanan moved ahead of him in the pecking order in recent games.

He will be available to make his debut for the Wirral outfit in Saturday’s clash with Exeter at home, where he could come up against another former team-mate in Graham Cummins, who scored for the Grecians in midweek.