PNE will be window shopping

Preston North End remain hopeful of bringing in one or two new faces before Wednesday night's transfer deadline.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 30th August 2016, 5:00 am
Liam Grimshaw has been used in the right-back role this season
Liam Grimshaw has been used in the right-back role this season

Deepdale chiefs have been frustrated in their attempts to get deals over the line thus far but work is continuing behind the scenes to strengthen the squad before 11pm tomorrow.

The main aim is bringing in a right-back to fill the void left by Calum Woods’ season-ending knee injury.

Liam Grimshaw has filled in when required, with Chris Humphrey the preferred option on that flank when manager Simon Grayson has used three centre-backs.

The PNE boss is keen to secure a specialist however and North End did have a bid for Manchester United’s Donald Love accepted earlier in the window, only for the defender to elect to join Sunderland.

In recent days both Liverpool’s Connor Randall and Everton’s Gethin Jones have been linked with moves to Deepdale.

Grayson admits it has been a tough transfer window as the price of players continues to rise and the effects of the changes to the loan system bite.

He said: “We’d like to have things done a little bit quicker.

“There are many obstacles in your way.

“Agents want to do things with certain players and the finances have grown.

“Probably the biggest factor of all is clubs now need big squads around them, especially with Championship clubs and below now that there’s no emergency loan market.

“We’d have probably let a couple go out on loan by now and you can get them back or get other players if you needed through injuries and suspensions. But because that window shuts on Wednesday and you’re stuck with what you’ve got, you’ve got to keep players around you.

“Clubs are very reluctant to leave themselves short and why should you put yourself in that position?

“Everyone’s looking for good players, everybody’s looking at what they can bring to their football clubs.”

As off-the-field activity reaches fever pitch, on the field Grayson is looking forward to spending some time on the training ground with his players during the international break.

Seven games in 21 days to start the season means there has not been much chance to really work with the squad at Springfields.

Now however, with no game until Barnsley visit Deepdale on September 10, the PNE boss is looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

He said: “It gives us an opportunity to get on to the training pitch which we’ve not been able to do, playing Saturday-Tuesday every week.

“We’ve just been ticking over and recovering from games. The sharpness on Saturday was in Ipswich rather than us because we had the game on Tuesday against Oldham.

“That’s no excuse now and we’ve got to work hard to put things right for when we play Barnsley in a couple of weeks.”