Yellow peril for PNE ace Joe

Joe Garner will miss Preston North End's next two games after getting his 10th booking of the season in last night's defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Wednesday, 9th March 2016, 6:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2016, 10:51 am
Joe Garner jumps for the ball at the City Ground

The striker was booked against his former club seven minutes before half-time following a clash with Forest defender Matt Mills.

He now misses the Gentry Day clash against Bolton at the Macron Stadium on Saturday, followed by the home game against Queens Park Rangers a week later.

Garner had reached nine bookings as long ago as January 23 when he was cautioned against Brentford.

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Joe Garner jumps for the ball at the City Ground

The 27-year-old managed to keep out of trouble for the next seven games before falling foul of referee Mark Brown at the City Ground.

Had he avoided a 10th caution last night and at Bolton, he would have reached the FA’s amnesty when the number of cautions needed for a ban goes up to 15.

Garner was substituted at the interval, with Jordan Hugill replacing him up front – Callum Robinson also came on for Bailey Wright at North End switched formation.

PNE boss Simon Grayson said: “Joe misses the next two games, so we needed to get some game time into Jordan Hugill and then to Eoin Doyle.

Joe Garner jumps for the ball at the City Ground

“We took Joe off and also Bailey Wright who had done nothing wrong – we just wanted to play four at the back and three up top.

“We didn’t need to play Joe any longer because we wanted to look to the weekend as well as the rest of this game.

“You always hold your breath with Joe because he plays on the edge. He always plays that way, you are never going to stop him from doing that and I’m surprised he has got this close to the amnesty without getting a ban.

“It gives someone else an opportunity to come in at Bolton and impress.

“If they do that, they will stay in the team.”

The only goal of last night’s game came in the 37th minute, shortly before Garner was booked.

Forest hit North End on the counter-attack, breaking forward from their own box after defending a Ben Pearson free-kick.

They broke three on two, Ben Osborn delivering a cross which Nelson Oliveira side-footed home to secure the three points for the hosts.

In the second half, PNE were twice denied an equaliser by De Vries who made fine saves from Hugill and Pearson.

Said Grayson: “When you look back on the game there wasn’t much in the first half, we were quite comfortable and Forest didn’t threaten us too often.

“We kept the ball well, had some half chances but then were unfortunate with the goal.

“It was from our free-kick, we got in a shot at goal, then suddenly they broke quickly on the counter-attack and before you knew it, the ball was in the back of the net.

“They have a bit of pace about them and that is sometimes how they punish teams.

“At half-time we changed to give us a bit more of a threat going forward because we have to try and win games at this stage of the season.

“For the first 10 minutes of the second half we were a little bit ragged but we settled down and their goalkeeper ended-up being man of the match which tells you something about our performance.

“We always ask the players that when they come in the dressing room afterwards not to have left anything out on the pitch – they gave everything.

“They worked ever so hard, lacked a bit of quality with the final pass late on in the game when we really wanted to get at them.

“At the back end of the game, we were throwing bodies forward and Forest were hanging on in there.”