PNE boss Alex Neil explains why Declan Rudd replaced Chris Maxwell for Nottingham Forest win

Preston boss Alex Neil felt it was the ‘right time’ to hand Declan Rudd his first league start of the season in the win at Nottingham Forest.

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Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd celebrates with Daniel Johnson after the 3-0 win at Nottingham Forest

Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd celebrates with Daniel Johnson after the 3-0 win at Nottingham Forest

Rudd took over from Chris Maxwell who had been ever present in the Championship since September 2016.

His appearance in the 3-0 win ended a frustrating time for the 27-year-old who was dogged by a thigh injury for the first four months of the campaign.

Neil said: “Dec was getting frustrated on the side while Maxi has been very good for us this season.

“But I just felt it was the right time for Dec to get an opportunity.

“He played very well in the cup game at Sheffield United and what he had to do at Forest he did well.”

Neil says he looks at the keeper position in the same way as other areas of the pitch in terms of selection.

“I think it is all relative to performance, as it is in other positions,” said the Scotsman.

“If someone isn’t playing well or hasn’t been in the best of form or someone else shows better skills in certain ways, there can be a change.

“Or it might be that you just think the team will benefit from freshening up.

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“There can be a host of reasons why you change it.

“I don’t think the keeper should be any different.

“It is like anything else, we have good guys competing for places in the team.”

Rudd joined Preston in the summer from Norwich for an undisclosed fee.

He had previously had two loan spells at Deepdale in 2013 and 2014, playing 69 games.

Neil was his manager at Norwich, Rudd playing 11 games in the Premier League under him.

Last season, he was loaned out to Charlton by Neil for a run of first-team football.

For Maxwell, Tuesday night was the end of a 67-game run in the league.

He made the first of those against Wigan on September 23, 2016.