PNE the team to fear

Knee trouble: But David Buchanan is on the road to recovery
Knee trouble: But David Buchanan is on the road to recovery
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Graham Westley thinks that Preston North End will become a feared side in League One as the season progresses.

he North End boss is pleased with the steady progress being made by his team.

While they sit slightly under the radar in ninth place, Westley expects that to change in the coming weeks.

He told the Evening Post: “I heard one manager in our division talking about Sheffield United and Preston being the clubs to fear.

“I can see where he’s coming from and as the season unfolds, we are expecting a lot more in terms of getting the right results.

“We are very much a side who people will be looking out for as we push forward.

“The supporters who watch us regularly can see a team which is evolving – they are starting to see what Preston are going to be all about.

“In games, we are showing glimpses of where we want to get to.

“We’re a good footballing side which mixes its game when necessary.

“The lads are intelligent out of possession and cover a lot of ground over the 90 minutes.

“In most games we have done things which makes me think there is hope for this side.

“If you look back to Tranmere last Saturday, there was hunger, some quality football and the appetite to defend when the opposition attacked.

“There’s a big desire to win, and I found it encouraging that we could play the leaders in their own back yard and see them wasting time to see the game out.

“We need to keep making progress, learn as we go, try and get better game by game. I’m sure we will do that because it’s a good group of lads we’ve got here.”

North End swap league action for the FA Cup this weekend, with Yeovil the visitors to Deepdale.

Then it is quickly back to League One for Tuesday night’s home clash with Carlisle.

On the fitness front, Westley reported that David Buchanan and Bailey Wright were making progress from knee and ankle injuries, respectively.

But this weekend will come too soon for the pair to be involved.

Left-back Buchanan has missed the last five games with a knee problem, and had an injection last week to try and reduce the swelling around the injury.

He first picked up the injury in the away win at Doncaster last month, and was troubled by it again against Oldham a few days later.

Wright twisted his ankle during the Sheffield United defeat and had a scan last week to rule out the chance that any serious damage had been done.

Lee Holmes, out since the end of August, has started out on the comeback trail.

The winger played in part of a training ground game against Blackpool on Tuesday.

Holmes needed 45 stitches in a deep gash to his knee after colliding with a metal advertising board in the game at Bournemouth.

The 25-year-old also suffered ligament damage in the incident.

Lee Trundle, out since pre-season following knee surgery, is approaching the end of his rehabilitation, with a return to full training expected soon.