Maxwell can’t wait for cup tie

Chris Maxwell will play for PNE against Bournemouth
Chris Maxwell will play for PNE against Bournemouth
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Chris Maxwell is ready for his second competitive game in the Preston goalkeeper’s jersey and looking forward to showing what he can do.

The 26-year-old will replace Anders Lindegaard between the posts for the League Cup clash at Bournemouth, one of a number of changes set to be made by PNE manager Simon Grayson.

Maxwell played in the last round against Oldham four weeks ago but has been back on the bench since.

Not that he has been idle in that time in his role as back-up to Lindegaard.

“I have done a lot of extra work with the goalkeeper coaches Alan Kelly and Jack Cudworth,” said Maxwell.

“Any player in the squad, whatever their position, has to be ready for when a chance might come.

“There have been a tough couple of results lately but as a squad we stick together and help each other out.

“We will be all right this season, I know there is a lot of worry among the fans at the moment and a lot of frustration.

“There is the same feeling in the dressing room too and it is up to us to put it right.

“From a personal point of view, I’m looking forward to playing again.

“I absolutely loved it the last time against Oldham – playing football is what I enjoy doing.

“I’m as enthusiastic as a seven-year-old kid kicking a ball around in the back garden. I want to play football.

“This is an opportunity for myself and one I intend to thoroughly enjoy.

“I’m not thinking beyond the 90 minutes or whatever it might be, this is the game we are focused on and we all need to be on top of our game as individuals and as a team.”

Maxwell was always pencilled in to play this game, the predicted high number of changes planned in advance, notwithstanding the 5-0 defeat at Brentford.

Grayson has to bear in mind the derby clash with Wigan at Deepdale on Friday night and the quicker turnaround between the games.

Even though the team will have a much different look about it from Saturday, there will be a strong desire from all those within the squad to start the recovery from the drubbing at Griffin Park.

Said Maxwell: “We all want to put it right, as a squad we win and we lose together.

“I didn’t think the scoreline at Brentford reflected the performance of the players, it was just a mad five or 10 minutes towards the end.

“That is what can happen if you take your foot off the gas or lose your concentration, you can get punished.

“The lads are determined to put it right and this game is a good opportunity.

“The manager has said that there will be changes and it is up to those who come in to take a chance and put pressure on the team selection for the Wigan game on Friday.”

Awaiting North End in Dorset are a Bournemouth outfit who have taken four points from their first five Premier League games.

The Cherries side will be much changed from their weekend defeat to Manchester City but Maxwell still sees it as a big test.

“It is fantastic to be going to play Premier League opposition – this is a chance for us to show what we can do, said the Welsh shot-stopper.

“We want to try and make progress in the cup and have the chance to play another big side from the Premier League.

“It will be a tough ask, a tough game, but we are right up for the challenge and will give it a really good go.

“What is important is that we play to the best of our ability and stick to the game-plan.

“If we do that, it should make for a good game. If there are changes to the team, we know all about each other from training every day.

“We played enough games in pre-season and have done our preparation work on Sunday and Monday for this one.

“It is a game we go into off the back of a bad result and that will make us determined to put things right.

“What is good here is that we have some very strong competition within the 
squad.

“It is important that players can come into the team and do a job.”

This is the first time that North End have had to travel in the competition this season, having beaten Hartlepool 1-0 at Deepdale on August 9 and then seen off Oldham with a 2-0 victory a fortnight later.

Lindegaard was between the posts for the Hartlepool game, changes kept to a minimum as it was only the second match of the season.

Against Oldham, Maxwell’s inclusion was among six changes made by Grayson as he began to rotate the squad.

The Bosman signing from Fleetwood looked assured in that game and a good display on the south coast would see Maxwell turn up the pressure on Lindegaard a notch or two in the battle for the first-team gloves.