‘Late man’ Andre Green looks to make an early impact after joining Preston North End

PNE boss Alex Neil with Alan Browne and  Andre Green
PNE boss Alex Neil with Alan Browne and Andre Green

Preston new boy Andre Green is a player worth sticking with right until the end of a game if his scoring record last season was anything to go by.

Green netted six goals for Portsmouth – where he was on loan – and parent club Aston Villa during the 2018/19 campaign.

Three of those came in the 90th minute, a fourth with 88 minutes on the clock and another in the 83rd minute.

His first in a Pompey shirt was comparatively early in the 50th minute.

Green’s goals and wing play caught North End’s eye and saw him arrive at Deepdale on a season’s loan from Villa last week.

He got a few minutes on the pitch as a substitute at Millwall and will hope for more involvement when PNE host Wigan Athletic at Deepdale on Saturday.

For Green, last season was eventful, one which he learned so much from.

He played five games for Villa at the start of the campaign and then went to Portsmouth on loan.

A change of manager at Villa saw him recalled to the West Midlands in January.

Green went on to play 17 games for Villa, coming on as a sub in the play-off final win against Derby at Wembley.

One of last term’s late games was significant in Villa’s push up the table and eventual charge for the play-offs.

He netted Villa’s 90th-minute equaliser against Sheffield United as they battled back from being 3-0 down to draw 3-3.

“The way last season went was crazy,” Green told the Lancashire Post.

“I started at Villa and then went to Portsmouth, that was my first loan.

“It was a loan which I enjoyed, I scored a few goals and the mentality I built up was significant.

“When I came back to Villa, I scored in the game against Sheffield United to come back from 3-0 down.

“What had happened at Portsmouth with my goals there, served me well.

“Things happen for a reason and helped me when I went back to Villa.

“The Portsmouth loan was meant to be for the full season but Villa changed manager when I was away.

“Dean Smith came in and I knew he had liked me before he went to Villa.

“I was hopeful he might recall me and thankfully he did.

“To end the season with a game at Wembley was just brilliant.

“This season it was best for me to come out on loan again because Villa have spent a lot of money on some very good players.

“I’ll still be 21 when I go back next summer and in that time I have to prove that I’m better than some of the players Villa have bought.

“This is a great club to have come to, I’m excited about the season ahead.

“I played a lot of games last season – 37 I think – and I’d love to play more than that here.”

Green was summoned from the training pitch to sign for North End, this not a slow-burner of a move in any shape or form.

A few hours later he had put pen to paper on the season-long switch.

“It happened quickly, less than three days from start to finish,” said Green of his August 1 move.

“The Villa manager had said he wanted to me to go on loan somewhere.

“Last Thursday I was out training, halfway through the session, when I got told I was going to Preston.

“So that bit was quick and it was a case of getting in the car and driving up here.”

Green has effectively been signed to plug the gap left by the big-money sale of Callum Robinson to Sheffield United.

Robinson gave Green a ringing endorsement of North End, the pair known to one another from Villa.

Said Green: “I know Callum well, we were at Villa in the academy.

“He was two or three years ahead of me but I trained in the same age group.

“Callum was someone who I used to look up to when we were in the 21s there, I could see just how hungry he was to succeed.

“He helped me coming here, told me what a great club it was and how good the manager was to work with – especially being a winger.

“Callum said that once I settled in, I would love the place even more.

“Daniel Johnson and Josh Ginnelly are others I know from Villa – it was good to see familiar faces here.”

Green’s preferred role is to play on the left wing but he can operate all the way across the front.

The 21-year-old said: “I’m a left winger but did play on the right quite a lot last season.

“I can play up front but I prefer being on the left.

“There are times I like to cut inside on to my right foot but my biggest strength is getting down the line and sending over crosses.

“I’ve got lots of power, I’m pacy, I’m direct and quick – I like to get at the full-back.

“My job is to get assists and goals and hopefully I can get plenty for Preston.

“I can’t wait to get going properly, it will be good to play at home on Saturday in front of the fans.”