Preston North End set to welcome back Brad Potts for Accrington Stanley pre-season friendly

Preston midfielder Brad Potts in pre-season training at Springfields
Preston midfielder Brad Potts in pre-season training at Springfields

Preston North End hope to give midfielder Brad Potts his first taste of pre-season action in Tuesday night's friendly against Accrington Stanley at Leyland's County Ground.

Potts had cartilage surgery on his knee towards the end of last season and was able to start training when the squad reported back to work last month.

North End manager Alex Neil on the touchline at Deepdale during the defeat to Southampton

North End manager Alex Neil on the touchline at Deepdale during the defeat to Southampton

But he felt some discomfort in the knee after the first few days of training and was sent to see the specialist who had done the operation.

The 24-year-old has subsequently had an injection in his knee to settle it down and he is now ready to get some game time under his belt.

Against Southampton on Saturday he was an unused substitute – only three of the 13 subs named on the team sheet were used.

Potts trained with the subs after the game as part of the build-up to facing Accrington.

North End manager Alex Neil told the Lancashire Post: “Pottsy will be available on Tuesday and get his minutes.

“We’ve had to give it a bit of time and not push him too much but it will be good to get him out there.

“Darnell Fisher will get his minutes against Fleetwood on Friday following the operation he’s had. So with those two coming back we have got a clean bill of health at the moment.”

Fisher has had surgery on a hernia, which was caught in the early stages to prevent him being out for a longer spell.

The fact Neil will be able to change the full XI between the Southampton defeat and the Accrington clash shows that the squad is on the large side.

Neil knows he needs to add quality to the numbers, though, with a replacement for Callum Robinson high priority.

Following the defeat to Southampton, Neil said: “As you could see we could certainly do with strengthening.”

North End have until Thursday, August 8 to do their incoming business, both permanent and loans.

They can still sell or loan players to League One and Two clubs until September 2.

Accrington Stanley were a late change of opponents for North End. Until Saturday, Bolton were due to play them but their financial issues forced them to pull out.

Stanley quickly agreed to step in as they were without a fixture.

The teams last met in the League Cup two years ago, with Accrington winning 3-2 at the Crown Ground.

Admission to the County Ground is £10 for adults and £5 for Under-16s and Over-65s.