Stuckmann will return in goal for PNE

Thorsten Stuckmann
Thorsten Stuckmann
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Thorsten Stuckmann will be back between the posts for Preston North End tomorrow as they chase FA Cup success against Sheffield United at Deepdale.

The big German replaces Sam Johnstone who is cup-tied having played for Doncaster in an earlier round.

Stuckmann’s back-up on the bench will come from the youth ranks, with North End having yesterday loaned out Jamie Jones to Coventry.

Jones has joined the Sky Blues on a 31-day emergency loan which could be extended to 93 days.

The summer signing from Leyton Orient lost his place to Stuckmann in November after being first-choice until then.

Johnstone’s arrival from Manchester United on loan pushed Jones further down the pecking order.

His move to Coventry will free up room on the budget for potential incoming business.

PNE boss Simon Grayson has stressed that work is going on behind the scenes to land targets and does understand why supporters are frustrated at a so-far quiet January.

One player on his wish-list who will not be coming, at least for the time being, is Callum Robinson.

The Aston Villa youngster, who spent two months on loan with Preston in the autumn, picked up an injury in training earlier this week.

A win over cup specialists United would be of help to Grayson in terms of financing signings.

Fourth-round winners net £90,000 prize money and then there is the potential of a big tie in Monday night’s fifth round draw.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “Our supporters are obviously getting a little bit frustrated that they can’t see anything happening. We are trying and it is not as easy to deal with these things.

“For a deal to be done you’ve got to have the player you want available, got to have the club willing to let them out, the player has to be better than what you have got and the player has to want to come.

“I’m frustrated we have not been able to do anything yet because we have got a good group of players here which just needs a few additions.

“I have got a list as long as my arm of players who I could easily sign who aren’t better than what we have already got.

“Then I have got a list of players who I would love to sign and we are working to try and achieve that.

“Some clubs don’t want to let players out unless you pay over the odds – we are not in a position to do that, we have to wait for the right ones.

“Callum Robinson won’t be happening, he got injured in training the other day and is going to be out for a couple of weeks.”

Progress to the fifth round is appealing, both in terms of on and off the pitch.

Said Grayson: “If we were to win on Saturday we would get prize money and the chance of a big draw.

“From a big tie you could be raking in £500,000-£1m and that might allow me to go down a different line of player.”

United, who lost 1-0 against Tottenham on Wednesday night in the semi-final first leg of the Capital One Cup, are set to be backed by around 3,000 supporters tomorrow.