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Club News

Westley: We Dug In

9 August 2012

Preston North End rounded off their pre-season schedule with a hard fought 1-0 win on the south coast against League Two side Plymouth Argyle.

“We have shown tonight there is still a lot of work to be done, we have got a few knocks in the camp so we have to get those players ready. We have to make sure that not just the team but the squad is ready for action.” 

“The same goes with Welshy [John Welsh] who played 45 minutes and he was solid and strong. He did what he does and was tidy in the middle of the park and again I didn’t want to overstrain him. 

“There were signs where he showed the type of threat he is going to offer us as the season goes on. It is now very much the question of getting him fit and using games and training to get him to the right levels.

The manager concluded his interview by saying: “David [Amoo] played 45 minutes tonight and I didn’t want him to come into the game and overdo it. I wanted him to loosen his legs and get a bit of match action, he hasn’t been in training for too long, so it is was important we give him enough time without putting too much strain on him.

On an injury front, North End received some positive news as they welcomed back David Amoo and John Welsh to the starting line-up, with the pair both getting a 45 minute run out at Home Park.

“When you play away from home you have to be resilient, organised and strong and you have to make the right decisions and have the right tactics. Away and at home we have tried to develop a different way of playing.

“It happens away from home, crowds create moments that referees get into and sometimes you don’t get the decisions that you deserve. 

“When you come away from home stuff happens, we could easily have had two penalties but we didn’t get them and they did get their one appeal. 

“We started with nothing in place and with the games at home the structure can be seen how the team are trying to play. They are trying to use the pitch wisely and play a good passing game.

“It is 11 points from six away games and people will be saying we should be beating these sides but 11 points from six away games is a solid start and it gives us a platform to work on in the way we are going to play when we play away.

“On the road we have got three wins, two draws and one defeat and in pre-season when sides can change players over and your fitness doesn’t get a chance to have its effect on the game.

“The journey last week to AFC Wimbledon was a step forward from what we did when we went to Morecambe and today’s journey has been another winning one. 

He continued: “People might look and say it is League Two opposition but trust me there is not a big divide between League One and League Two.

As time has gone on, Preston performances have improved and the results away from Deepdale have pleased Westley.

North End’s pre-season programme was certainly a busy one, with the team playing eight friendlies overall including trips to Morecambe and AFC Wimbledon.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of displays but none the less it is a long way to travel and we put that in the pre-season programme deliberately because it is a long journey and it goes with all the logistical issues that you face, we have done it and we have won the game.”

“There was a lot of covering play and there was some good defensive organisation and there was enough at the other end to win the game.

“It was an ugly performance, it wasn’t a pretty display and it looked like we didn’t travel very well but we dug in and there was blocks and tackles.

Speaking to PNE.Com after the final whistle the gaffer said: “It was hardly an inspired performance but one of the things about a successful side is that they manage to grind out clean sheets on nights when they don’t play very well and they do enough to score goals to win games.

Boss Graham Westley believes it was a good lesson for his side with a number of long trips ahead this season for the squad, including a trip to AFC Bournemouth at the end of the month. 

The Lilywhites raced into a fourth minute lead courtesy of Akpo Sodje, and defended strongly throughout to hold on for the win.


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