PNE duo will flourish

Joe Garner
Joe Garner
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GRAHAM Westley is tipping Preston North End’s forward partnership of Joe Garner and Stuart Beavon to flourish given a bit more patience and time.

The pair’s first two games together up front have ended in defeat, and they will not be able to set that record straight today after heavy snow caused North End’s match against Yeovil Town at Huish Park to be postponed

Nevertheless, Westley believes Beavon and Garner will mould into a dangerous front line the more time they spend on the practice pitch and their team-mates get used to them.

Westley told the Evening Post: “Garner and Beavon haven’t got off the best start, with us losing the two games they have started together.

“You can see when you get natural goalscorers playing together that it takes time for them not to make the same runs, not be in the same sort of positions.

“It’s about the other lads in the team adapting to what they do best, where they like the ball to be played.

“In the first couple of games we’ve seen balls intended for Garner which are better suited to a really fast striker to run on to.

“Garner is a clever player who needs the ball at his feet more, he’s got good movement and ability on the ball. The feed up to him needs to be a bit different to other players we might have here, all of them have their different strengths.”

While Garner and Beavon will be developed as North End’s main front line, Westley says Graham Cummins and Chris Beardsley have roles to play too.

So too Lee Trundle when he returns from time on the sideline nursing a hamstring strain suffered in training on New Year’s Eve.

“When we train we are always looking at different combinations up front,” said Westley.

“Sometimes you need a different combination for a particular game, one which will be right for an occasion. We’re trying to make sure that all the front boys are able to play together in whatever partnership, whether from the start or later in a game off the bench.

“All the boys need to understand each other’s game, and the team need to know how to get the best out of them.”

Meanwhile, Westley admits it was a big relief to be able to bring Paul Connolly to Deepdale this week to fill the right-back vacancy.

Connolly has joined from Leeds on loan for the rest of the season, his arrival hopefully signalling the end of having to field players out of position.

“He’ll bring some big club experience to us which we struggled to do with our summer recruitment,” said Westley.

“We’ve really struggled for lads who are able to handle the size and stature of this club. Im pleased to have Paul here and I’ve got to say that Neil Warnock has been terrific in letting him come to us.

“Deals are never easy to do and it took quite a bit of time from me going over to Leeds’ training ground to meet him to getting everything done. We’ve been having to play lads out of position at right-back which is never ideal.

“Sometimes you might squeeze someone into the side because you want their quality out there, but generally speaking you want people to play in the right position.

“Right back has been a problem since Keith Keane was injured and it was important we did something in this transfer window.

Former PNE striker Chris Holroyd has joined Morecambe on a deal until the end of the season.

Holroyd, who spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Macclesfield, was released earlier this month after his Deepdale contract was cancelled by mutual consent.