PNE star set for next international test

Preston North End defender Bailey Wright has headed home to Australia for two more games after a '˜special' night playing against England.

Monday, 30th May 2016, 5:00 am
England's Raheem Sterling and Australia's Bailey Wright battle for the ball

Wright played the full 90 minutes of the Socceroos’ 2-1 defeat to Roy Hodgson’s men at the Stadium of Light.

Although part of a defence which got stretched open for England’s two goals – scored by Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney – the PNE man put in an assured display.

He was praised by former England manager Glenn Hoddle during the commentary and can certainly have taken heart from being in the international spotlight.

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Wright said: “It is always special to represent my country and I felt our performance deserved more.

“International football is 11 against 11 no matter what league you play in, we went out and proved we’re more than good enough to be out there.

“We knew it was going to be a tough challenge, England are a good side with good players but we know what we’re capable of as well.

“There was a few times we could have hurt them and maybe just didn’t have that little bit of luck sometimes you need in football.

“We’ve proved to everyone and ourselves we can do it against anyone, it doesn’t matter who it is.

“Obviously the result wasn’t what we wanted but we’ll keep building and building and only get better.

“As a team it’s another step in the direction we want to go.

“We played our football and we caused them a lot of problems.

“They maybe had that bit of luck but there was certainly a lot of times we created a lot of good chances and played some good football.

“There were a lot of positives to take from it.”

Wright, 23, flew Down Under with the Australia squad over the weekend ahead of their friendly double header with Greece.

They play the Greeks in Sydney and then in Wright’s home city Melbourne.

On the international front, new PNE goalkeeper Chris Maxwell continues to train with the Wales squad in Portugal’s Algarve.

Maxwell joined up with them on Thursday, Wales boss Chris Coleman wanting another keeper on board while Danny Ward recovers full fitness after a knee injury.

Managers have to name their final 23-man squads for the Euros by tomorrow.

Maxwell was on holiday in Cape Verde when he got the call to join up with the Welsh squad in Vale do Lobo.

Meanwhile, Andy Little is weighing-up his next move after being released by North End at the end of the season.

Little, who did not kick a ball for PNE last term, said: “I’m not trying to get a good deal like I did at Rangers or a big move like I did at Preston.

“I just want to play football again. I have had a couple of offers already and at least I know I have a couple of options and if nothing else comes up I can fall back on them.”