Spurr eyes PNE start

Tommy Spurr is looking for a mini run in the Preston team after an in-and-out first '¨season at Deepdale.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 20th April 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:22 pm
Tommy Spurr hopes to get a starting place when PNE visit Newcastle on Monday
Tommy Spurr hopes to get a starting place when PNE visit Newcastle on Monday

The defender has made 17 appearances for PNE, seven of those coming from the bench.

He scored his first goal for the club as a substitute in the defeat to Norwich on Easter Monday.

With injuries biting in the Lilywhites defence of late, there is a strong chance that Spurr will feature from the start in the last three games.

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They have lost both Tom Clarke and Greg Cunningham to serious injuries in the last two matches.

Spurr might be forgiven for feeling like the Grim Reaper, having come on as a substitute for those two players when they hobbled out of the action.

“It’s awful for them to get injured – Clarkey and Gregg have done ever so well for us,” Spurr told the Post.

“Unfortunately that is part and parcel of football and I wish them a speedy recovery.

“People go out of the team and others come in, that is how it works.

“If selected, I’ll come into the team and try my best to help us finish the season as strongly as we can.

“Greg has done very well at left-back this season, which has limited my involvement.

“When I have had a couple of runs in the team, something has happened to stop them.

“Earlier in the season I got flu for two weeks and then strained my hamstring.

“I’ve been in and out of the squad but I’ve kept working hard ready for when a chance came my way.

“I base my game on that, work hard during the week and hopefully your rewards come at the weekend.

“In the last two games my chance has come, albeit through circumstances which weren’t very nice.”

Preston have a demanding visit to promotion-chasing Newcastle on Monday night.

Their visit to St James’ Park in the EFL Cup six months ago ended in a 6-0 defeat, Spurr starting that game.

“It will be a huge game up at Newcastle, there will be a big crowd and it’s on television,” said Spurr.

“We need to build some momentum over these last three games, not allow the season peter out into nothing and finish lower than last year.

“As a team we have to be far better than we were against Norwich.

“They were a bit sharper than us, quicker to the ball and we gave it away too often.

“You can’t go turning the ball over as much as we did in the first half.

“It could have been five or six by half-time but at least we came out and gave it a go in the second half.

“We got a goal back and then has a couple of good chances after that.

“One of their players made a ridiculously good tackle on Tom Barkhuizen just as he was about to tap the ball home.”

Spurr’s header from a Paul Gallagher free-kick has halved the deficit.

Reflecting on his first goal for the club, Spurr said: “I took a gamble that it was going to get to me.

“Gally’s deliveries are often very good and I managed to get a flick on it.”