PNE boss finds a better balance

Marnick Vermijl has returned to Deepdale
Marnick Vermijl has returned to Deepdale
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Preston North End boss Simon Grayson is pleased with the balance of his side after a busy transfer deadline day.

The Lilywhites chief completed three deals on Wednesday, taking his total number of new recruits to 10 since the end of last season.

Marnick Vermijl arrived on a permanent deal from Sheffield Wednesday while both Middlesbrough defender Alex Baptiste and Republic of Ireland international winger Aiden McGeady arrived on season-long loans.

From back to front, Grayson now believes he is well stocked with the target now improving on a start to the season that has seen North End lose four of their five opening Championship games to sit second-bottom of the table.

The PNE boss said: “Marnick, McGeady and Alex give us a bit more pace in the side.

“There’s more of a physical presence up top with Simon Makienok and Jordan Hugill and we’ve got competition in midfield.

“We’re well covered in defence too. We’ve got versatile players who can work in a number of systems, which we need with their being no emergency loan window.”

Filling the gap at right-back, after Calum Woods’ season-ending injury, was always the number one target before the end of the window, with North End securing deals for two players who can play in that position – Baptiste and Vermijl.

Grayson however believes they bring different things to the table, the former being more defensive-minded while the latter likes to get forward at every opportunity.

He said: “Alex Baptiste can play centre-back, while Marnick is more of a right wing-back and suited to a more attacking role.

“The competition is good down that side with Chris Humphrey, and Liam Grimshaw has played right back as well.

“The balance is right in that area.”

Some supporters wanted a striker to replace the departed Joe Garner who joined Rangers earlier in the month.

McGeady was the only attacking recruit, with Grayson insisting after three goals in five games that the former Celtic man’s creativity could be key.

He said: “A lot of people were saying we should have gone out and got a striker.

“We would have needed one that fitted into our wage bracket and sometimes it’s been more about creating enough chances. We’ve got five available at the moment and we would have needed something that fit within the budget.”

Meanwhile, Tickets for North End’s home league games in October and November are on sale.

It is a busy couple of months at Deepdale, with five league games against Aston Villa, Huddersfield Town, Newcastle United, Wolves and Burton Albion.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 0344 856 1966 or in person from the ticket office.