Preston North End boss explains his goalkeeper choice for the FA Cup defeat at Wycombe
Alex Neil felt it was right to give Connor Ripley the gloves for Preston North End’s FA Cup defeat at Wycombe rather than throw Daniel Iversen straight in for his debut.
With Declan Rudd out for the next few months with a knee injury, the Lilywhites signed Iversen on loan from Leicester City last Thursday.
The Dane trained with PNE for the first time on Friday and was in the travelling squad at Wycombe. He took part in the warm-up but was not named in the matchday squad.
Ripley played in goal, with Mathew Hudson on the bench, Neil feeling the 4-1 scoreline was no reflection on Ripley who made a number of saves.
Neil said: “Daniel did the one session on Friday after signing the day before.
“However, Connor has been waiting for an opportunity and a chance. I actually felt a bit for Connor. The scoreline didn’t look good on him but I didn’t think he did a lot wrong.
“He was the last guy I would point the finger at for the defeat, that was not a concern for me.”
It was Ripley’s first game since the Carabao Cup defeat to Brighton in September.
He played the opening match of the season against Swansea after Rudd had been injured in pre-season training.
Rudd has been ever present in the league since then, a run which now ends.
Although happy with how Ripley did at Wycombe, it could well be that Iversen gets the nod at Bristol City on Saturday.
The 23-year-old is a keeper who has been on North End’s radar for a while
He has had loan spells before in this country with Oldham and Rotherham.
The first half of this season, Iversen spent on loan in Belgium with O-H Leuven.
Rudd, 29, was injured in training last Tuesday and has since had surgery to repair the meniscus cartilage.
His recovery time will be around the three-month mark, hence PNE bringing in Iversen.
Had they relied on Ripley and Hudson only, one of them getting injured beyond the transfer window would leave them short.
While Iversen did not play at Wycombe, another of last week’s loan signings – Jayson Molumby – did feature.
The midfielder played for 75 minutes before being replaced by Sean Maguire.
Said Neil: “When you go into a new team, you want to feel your way into the first game and get to know your team-mates.
“When we were 2-0 down after eight minutes, Jayson must have been thinking, ‘What am I doing here’?
“It was a difficult one for him but he got some minutes into his legs and he’ll be better for that. There will be a lot more to come.”
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