Callum keeps head held high

It was a case of practice makes perfect for Callum Robinson after his header nearly sparked PNE to a point against Fulham on Saturday.

Sunday, 14th August 2016, 1:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:48 pm
Callum Robinson celebrates after getting North End back in the game with a header

The former Aston Villa youngster is noted for his skill and trickery but launched himself at a Jermaine Beckford cross to reduce the arrears to 2-1 with 20 minutes remaining.

Despite late pressure, North End saw a Beckford goal controversially disallowed for offside as their search for a first Championship point of the season went on.

Robinson said: “It meant a lot to me to score a goal obviously, but for it to be a header – it’s not a goal I usually score.

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“I’ve been doing extras in everything. I’ve been doing extras in the gym, extra crossing, extra finishing and extra heading to try and make my game the best I can for the team and be effective.

“We’ve had a little laugh and joke about it with the heading but I’ve been working hard on it.

“I’m really happy with the goal but disappointed with another loss in the league.

“Towards the end I thought we could definitely have got a draw.”

The goal saw two of Simon Grayson’s substitutes combine a matter of minutes after coming off bench, Beckford floating over a perfect cross for Robinson to attack at the back post.

The 21-year-old, who made his move to Deepdale permanent in the summer, said: “Jermaine did really well.

“I sort of read that Joe Garner took a few of the defenders away.

“He’s the number one main target in the box so he took a few players across with him and it just opened up for me and I just thought I’d give it a go.

“I did my best to get a good connection.”

Beckford’s late disallowed goal meant the afternoon ended on a sour note but Robinson acknowledged that PNE had given themselves plenty do after a second straight slow start, Grayson having said his side were two yards off the pace against Reading on the opening day.

Robinson said: “We knew that we had to be an attacking threat and defend well as a team because they’ve got some really good players.

“It was a little bit flat in the first half though.

“We came out on the front foot again in the second half, like we did against Reading last week, with a pace about us and pressing. But we can’t afford to have many flat first halves like we have.”

The Championship is as relentless as ever, with North End next hosting Derby at Deepdale on Tuesday night.

Robinson said: “It keeps coming and it’s going to be like that for most of the season.

“There are not really any easy games.

“There are some big games and some big teams in this division and we’ve just got to make sure we can get going on Tuesday night and get some points on the board.”

With no points to show for their efforts, and one of the promotions favourites next in town, the pressure could be building but Robinson insists that is not the case.

He said: “We’ve got some great characters in the team, people who are strong mentally and it’s only two games.

“There will be lads in the dressing room who have gone longer than that without getting a result.

“We did great last season and we can pick it back up.”