Wright hails PNE’s dynamic duo

Bailey Wright (above) says Tom Clarke and Joe Garner are deserving of their place in the PFA team of year
Bailey Wright (above) says Tom Clarke and Joe Garner are deserving of their place in the PFA team of year
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Bailey Wright believes the inclusion of his Preston North End team-mates Tom Clarke and Joe Garner in the PFA team of the year was just reward.

The Australia international also thought others in the PNE squad were worthy of a place in the League One XI.

Clarke and Garner being recognised by their peers was a welcome tonic ahead of the crunch clash with Colchester United on Sunday lunchtime.

Centre-half Wright told the Evening Post: “Both lads really deserve this recognition.

“Tom has been superb all season, hardly missing a game and rarely putting a foot wrong.

“He is our ‘Mr Consistent’, a good leader and someone who is a pleasure to play alongside.

“Joe’s inclusion speaks for itself. His goalscoring record has been second to none – he is the best striker in this league.

“There could easily have been a couple of the other lads to have made the side if I’m being honest.

“But it is still great to have seen Tom and Joe get the recognition.”

Victory at Colchester would see North End promoted to the Championship, regardless of MK Dons’ result.

So Wright hopes that Garner has a couple more goals left in his locker to help them achieve that.

“I have played against Joe when he was at Carlisle, so I know the score with him,” said Wright.

“Speaking to other central defenders who have played against him, they all know that they have been in a game.

“They wake up the morning after, mentally and physically drained – that is what Joe does to you. He is good at everything he does in his game.

“I think he deserves all the rewards which come his way.

“The biggest reward is the one Joe is still trying to get, that is the one we all want and hopefully that will come on Sunday.

“What you have to think about with Joe is how many goals he would have had if he had not had the time out with his injury.

“I think he could easily have had another 10 and blown everyone else away.”

“When you come back from an injury it can take you a run of games to get yourself back firing fully.

“However, Joe came back in and was among the goals straight away.

“He is one of those players who, as soon as he crosses the white line, sends a trigger through everyone.

“His competitive nature rubs off.”

Wright, 22, says the next few days will be exciting as PNE build up to their visit to Essex.

The preparations though, will be along the same lines as for any other game.

“We are all looking forward to Sunday. This is an exciting week,” said Wright.

“It all comes down to the last game of the season and it is all in our own hands.

“We’ve got the full week to get ourselves ready and we will prepare how we have done for every other game this season.

“As a squad, we have worked hard to get to where we are – now we want to continue that and make sure we reach our goal.

“On Sunday we will go out there correctly prepared physically and mentally. We know the importance of the game. That is a no-brainer – we know what we need to do.”