PNE trio back on the attack

Jermaine Beckford will be back in action for PNE against Motherwell
Jermaine Beckford will be back in action for PNE against Motherwell
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Simon Grayson will wheel out big guns Joe Garner, Paul Gallagher and Jermaine Beckford for Preston North End’s clash with Motherwell tonight.

The attacking trio sat out Tuesday night’s victory over Southport as Grayson ran the rule over others in the squad.

But they are set to play a large chunk of this evening’s game, which is being played at Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium (7pm)

Lilywhites manager Grayson said : “You saw the other night that Beckford, Gallagher and Garner didn’t get any game time, so the likelihood is that they will play a large part against Motherwell.

“It is a case of continuing to build everyone up – we have three more games left.

“When it comes to deciding who plays what in these games, you have to balance the need to get fitness into them with not overworking them.

“Some players benefit from a bit longer on the pitch, others might be at risk of picking up an injury if you leave them on that extra 10 or 15 minutes.

“The main thing is that come the start of the season, all the lads are fully fit – 90 minutes is the golden number.

“At Southport we had a look at some of the younger lads and I was really pleased with what they did.

“Motherwell will provide a good test for us tonight as Hearts did last week.

“We are away in Scotland for four days, that gives us the chance to do some work at a different venue and change the routine a bit.

“During the season, 95 per cent of our work is done at the training ground, so being able to have a change of scene for a few days will be ideal.

“On the way back we play at Carlisle on Tuesday night, so it should be a good few days.”

Grayson was hoping to have had a couple of new faces on board the bus to Scotland.

Tendayi Darikwa is PNE’s right-back target but so far Chesterfield have turned down two bids for him.

Work also continues to sign a new left-back, while Preston are waiting on Sam Johnstone becoming available.

Said Grayson: “We are working extremely hard to bring people in.

“It is no secret that right-back is a position where we have made a bid for a player.

“The other club’s valuation is higher than ours at this moment in time.

“Do we go back in? We will have to wait and see.

“The player has made it aware he wants to play at a higher level by the means of the transfer request which I’ve seen reported in the press.

“We have other options but this is a player we would like to sign – he is a good player.

“But he is not our player and we have to respect that.

“What we do next is out of my jurisdiction, I leave that to the people above me.

“In terms of a left-back, we are waiting on other clubs to decide whether they are going to let people out.

“With Sam, the position hasn’t really changed.

“He is doing pre-season with Manchester United and getting game time there.”