PNE given wake-up call says boss

Neil Kilkenny with Carlisle United's Danny Grainger
Neil Kilkenny with Carlisle United's Danny Grainger
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Simon Grayson says that Preston North End’s defeat to Carlisle last night must serve as a ‘kick up the backside’ ahead of their return to the Champions

The Lilywhites were beaten 4-3 at Brunton Park in a game which also featured a red card for United substitute Anthony McQueen for a late challenge on Ben Davies.

Two of the Carlisle goals, including their late winner, came from the penalty spot.

The referee who gave them, Richard Clark, also awarded two spot kicks against North End when he last took charge of them at Port Vale in April.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “It was a game where there were plenty of goals and incidents.

“What it highlighted to us and to the players as well, is that if you don’t do the basics right – whether it is a pre-season friendly or a Championship game – then you don’t give yourself a chance of winning the match.

“We were okay with the ball, looked good going forward and passed it well but we didn’t stop the opposition playing.

“Too many times we allowed Carlisle to have an easy ride with the ball and when it came into the box, we made far too many fundamental mistakes.

“That resulted in four goals being conceded and two penalties being given against us. I’m not very pleased because it is not often in my time here that we have conceded four goals – I don’t like us conceding goals even in a training session,

“What it might do is give a kick up the backside to one or two and a reminder to us all what we need to do before the Championship starts.”

Jordan Hugill netted twice and Will Keane was on target in the visit to Cumbria.

There was a PNE debut for new signing Greg Cunningham, the left-back playing 83 minutes.

Grayson said: “The positives from the game were Jordan Hugill who looked a constant threat, while Greg Cunningham got game time with his new team-mates.

“Will Keane looked really sharp and got another goal.”

Grayson confirmed that attempts were ongoing to bring Sam Johnstone back on loan from Manchester United, the keeper is currently away in the United States.

Chesterfield right-back Tendayi Darikwa remains a target too,

Said Grayson: “Sam is back from America on Thursday.

“We have had some dialogue over the past couple of days with United and we are still trying to conclude a deal.

“When they get back, United have decisions to make because ultimately Sam needs to be playing or be part of their 25-man squad.

“We are very much in the hands of Manchester United but we also in this dialogue of trying to conclude a deal.

“With the right-back, again we are in negotiations and are trying to conclude a deal to bring him to the football club.

“We have made no secret of our desire to bring him in and negotiations are constantly going on between the two clubs.”