Westley confident wins will come

Graham Westley
Graham Westley
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Graham Westley remains firm in his belief that Preston can soon hit a consistent winning trail.

North End go into tomorrow’s Deepdale meeting with Doncaster having drawn five and lost two of their last seven League One matches.

It’s also three months since they last won at home in the league, and beating promotion-chasing Donny in the final fixture of 2012 would be a big boost going into the New Year.

The Boxing Day stalemate with Bury proved frustrating, PNE unable to turn chances into goals in a powerful start to the game.

They then struggled to maintain that tempo, with the contest limping to a conclusion after a lifeless second half.

Westley hopes the challenge of facing away-day specialists Donny - they’ve won eight games on their travels - can bring the best out of his players.

He said: “We played very well at their place earlier in the season, and we’ve show we are more than a match for sides in the upper echelons of the table.

“Our problem hasn’t really been matching sides, it’s been winning games consistently.

“We’ve shown we can understand oppositions and defend against them well.

“On our day we’ve shown that we can take sides to pieces, but we haven’t played with enough cutting edge consistently to win games.

“I think our lads deserve a lot of credit for coping with the amount of trauma there has been in selection this year.

“It’s not been easy for them, adjusting to having different players around them all of the time.

“Whether that has been in the back four, as a midfield unit or as a front player, it takes time to adjust.

“Our play at times has lacked fluency but the lads are working so hard to stick together and understand each other.

“I just get the feeling that any day now our unbeaten run will turn into a winning run.

“When you have the work rate and desire, you always manage to flick an unbeaten run into wins.

“I’m as frustrated as anyone that we aren’t winning games.

“It could have been so different against Bury had we taken one of the chances we created in that opening spell of pressure.”

North End yesterday extended Iain Hume’s loan to Doncaster for the remainder of the season, although the terms of the deal prevent the Canadian striker playing in tomorrow’s game.

In the wake of the Bury stalemate, Westley will be tempted to change one or two things about in terms of selection.

He’s still likely to be without Stuart Beavon, the striker having injured his hip in the warm-up at Coventry.

On Boxing Day, Westley went with a Chris Beardsley/Jack King pairing up front, before bringing Lee Trundle into the action.

The Bury game saw PNE without four players who have scored 25 goals between them in all competitions.

Nicky Wroe (eight goals), Beavon (six) and Scott Laird (four) were sidelined by injury, while Akpo Sodje (seven) left the club earlier this month after rejecting the offer of a new contract.