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Club News

Westley Forced Into Changes

27 August 2012

Graham Westley is expecting to make a number of changes for Tuesday night’s clash with Palace after picking up injuries in Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth.

The North End boss admitted he could have as many as half a dozen changes to make to the squad after players picked up issues in the game on top of the absence of Lee Holmes.

“We’ve got quite a busy treatment room and it will be interesting to see who is available for the game,” said the Lilywhites’ gaffer. “I could image there being five or six changes to the line-up because of knocks we took at the weekend, so it is going to be a busy time to see how we go. 

“That’s not me talking about injuries that don’t exist because it’s the cup; I want to win the game and I’ll be putting out the strongest side I can pick, but I do expect to have to make changes.

“However, it always gives other people a chance and we have lads itching to go and show what they can do.”

The absence of Lee Holmes is something the manager will have to put up with for some time, as he continued to explain: “Lee is going to be out six weeks, I would suspect. He had an operation on Saturday night and it all went well, but he is that distance away from first team action. 

“He is going to be in a splint for two weeks, with 45 stitches in the injury. It is a case of the wound healing and then rehabilitating the leg. He’s going to lose a lot of fitness during that time, so he has six weeks to full training and then we have to get him fit.”

The visit of the Championship side sees North End go up against opposition from a higher division for the second round in a row, but the manager doesn’t think people should get too hung up about playing against a team from a loftier league.

“The difference between levels is marginal,” he added. “There is a difference, but it is manageable. One of the biggest differences is the mental difference, because you give them more respect than they deserve. 

“You should never underestimate anyone and always give them the proper respect, but don’t give people so much respect that you forget to play your own game.”

Tickets are on sale on MyPNE.Com, over the phone on 0844 856 1966 and in person at the ticket office. There will also be cash turnstiles in operation on the Sir Tom Finney Stand and Alan Kelly Town End on Tuesday night, so get down and support Graham and the team.

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