Trio battling for PNE return

Preston are assessing injuries and illness which sidelined two players for the goalless draw with Wolves and forced a third to limp out of the action.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 21st November 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 21st November 2016, 1:27 pm
Paul Gallagher limps off against Wolves
Paul Gallagher limps off against Wolves

Jermaine Beckford and Ben Pringle sat out the drab clash at Deepdale, then midfielder Paul Gallagher limped off in the second half.

Beckford suffered a slight thigh strain in training a week ago, while an asthma attack ruled Pringle out.

Gallagher had missed some of the training sessions in the build-up to the game because of a calf strain and the injury flared up during the action.

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North End manager Simon Grayson told the Evening Post: “Gally hadn’t trained much last week – he has a slight calf injury.

“It wasn’t a risk playing him but he wasn’t 100%.

“In the second half it was niggling him a bit so we decided to bring him off.

“It was one of those games where Gally wasn’t getting the time in the middle of the pitch to influence it.

“So getting another striker up front alongside Jordan Hugill was the right move at that point.

“We will assess Gally and we have got a clear week to work on the injury.

“Jermaine Beckford wasn’t involved because he got a bit of a thigh strain last Monday.

“It is nothing major and we’ll see where we are with him during the week.

“If he misses the Burton game, Becks should be all right for Sheffield Wednesday.

“Ben Pringle has an asthma attack last weekend which was obviously not too good for him. Anyone who suffers from asthma will realise how serious an attack can be.

“He was at home all last week with the doctor seeing him every day.

“We’ll bring Ben back when he is ready.”

North End’s stalemate with Wolves was a tough watch, the visitors arriving with a game-plan to be solid and frustrate.

There were still two great chances for the hosts to win it though.

Simon Makienok, who had replaced Gallagher, put a header on to the roof of the net from six yards in the 74th minute.

Then in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Hugill got clear on goal but lifted his shot over ex-PNE goalkeeper Andrew Lonergan and over the bar.

Said Grayson: “The first half was a non-event, both teams were battling and scrapping.

“At half-time I told the players to make sure they stayed in the game and kept asking questions of Wolves as we would get opportunities.

“As we saw, we had those two chances which could have won us the game.

“I’m disappointed not to have won but it was a clean sheet for the back four and goalkeeper, who played well.”

PNE had a penalty appeal rejected when substitute Marnick Vermijl went down in the box 10 minutes from time.

Said Grayson: “I couldn’t really see it from where I was and it wasn’t that clear on the DVD. We’ve not had a penalty yet this season.”