Preston North End manager give injury update ahead of Sunderland clash

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe will have nearly a full complement to choose from as he prepares his side to face Sunderland on Saturday.
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North End make the trip to the North East this weekend in the Championship, 3pm, as they get their fixtures back underway following the international break.

Ben Woodburn had been out prior to the two weeks off but has got a week of training under his belt and young forward Mikey O’Neill is the only absentee for the game against the Black Cats.

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Lowe said: “There's only young Mikey who has a slight abductor problem but other than that we have a fully fit squad to pick from which is the first time in a while. It's good, it's why you have a squad. Selection headaches all round.

Preston North End's Ben Woodburn (centre) shoots at goal against Coventry City.Preston North End's Ben Woodburn (centre) shoots at goal against Coventry City.
Preston North End's Ben Woodburn (centre) shoots at goal against Coventry City.

"Ben is fine, he just rolled his ankle. We expected it to be a little bit worse when he first came off against Coventry City, it was a little bit loose, but it's all fine. It's healed well, he's trained well for the last week and he's ready to go. He was back in last week, since last Tuesday. He's had about four or five days training now.”

Preston had five internationals featuring for their countries over the past couple of weeks, Ali McCann for Northern Irleand, Alan Browne, Troy Parrott and Robbie Brady for the Republic of Ireland and Daniel Johnson for Jamaica.

Johnson played for the Reggae Boyz at 1am Saturday morning, UK time, against Argentina and played the full 90 minutes.

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The game took place in New Jersey, USA, and he is only expected back in the UK on Thursday afternoon. Lowe would not be against leaving PNE’s no.10 out given his other options, to make life easier for the 29-year-old.

Lowe said: “He'll come back into the squad but we'll see how he is today, He's due to land at some point this afternoon [Thursday], Jon Lucas [fitness coach] is speaking to him on a daily basis. We have all the minutes that the lads played from their national teams.

"We'll monitor how he is because of jet lag, we'll assess him and see what's what. We have a fully fit squad to pick from so it means DJ missing out for the weekend, it means him missing out, we have enough numbers.

"We'll monitor when he comes back in the building. I text him and said don't be chasing after Messi too hard! I'm all for the international cause, it shows how well they're doing at their club to get recognised for the internationals.

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“I went over on Tuesday to the Aviva Stadium to watch the Ireland lads against Armenia and I was hoping every tackle wouldn't be a bad one, every run not to be a big sprint.

"I was pleased for Robbie scoring that goal. I was made up for him and his family after 15 months out, to get the recognition to get back into the national team and to score the winner, the relief for him was fantastic. Browney played about 15 minutes or so, Troy played 75 minutes. I'm just pleased that they're back unscathed.”