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Club News

Westley Encouraged By Progress

29 July 2012

North End boss Graham Westley is encouraged by the progress his side has made following the 1-0 win over Greek giants AEK Athens.

The Lilywhites dominated for long spells of the game, and deservedly broke the deadlock with two minutes left courtesy of substitute Jeffrey Monakana.

Pleased with another solid work out from his squad, the gaffer said: “When you are putting a side together which is going to be playing half of its games at Deepdale then you have to be thinking about the pitch, the size and the type of surface you are going to be playing on.

“You construct a side which you hope is going to be good on that surface and in that arena. There were some encouraging signs from the new group.

“They passed the ball well in periods against a top European opposition so you expect there will be patches where we needed to defend. When we did defend I thought we defended on the front foot and that is the way that we like too. 

“It was an encouraging work out bearing in mind there were 10 players making their home debuts at Deepdale and I thought it was very positive.”

Winger Monakana, recognised already by the North End supporters for his blistering turn of pace, demonstrated several times what he is capable of and is rated as a ‘vital asset’ by the PNE boss.

"Down the right hand side Jeffrey [Monakana] gave us the thrust that gave us the goal,” continued Westley.

“He has got the ability to go past people and he possess the pace too really hurt sides here at Deepdale where the pitch is wide.

“He is going to be a vital asset who is going to be used wisely, he still makes naïve decisions at times but he has played the majority of his football in an academy side.

“He is going to learn and develop in certain areas such as retaining the ball for the team and to drop in and keep shape defensively.

“He has been terrific, he has created some good moments against a good European opposition and created the vital moment which won us the game.”

There will be no rest bite for the Preston squad as they will be straight back in action on Tuesday evening with a trip to the capital to face League Two side AFC Wimbledon.

With three pre-season friendlies remaining against Football League opposition, Westley will be looking for the progress can continue ahead of the first competitive fixture of the season against Huddersfield Town.

He concluded: “Learning is part of the process of winning, we have looked a bit scruffy here and there. There are habits that players are trying to pick up and remember.

“The results to do date haven’t been fantastic but we are trying to measure results on the overall progress and this afternoon as a benchmark says we are in ok shape but we have got a lot of work to do.

“We have still got two weeks before competitive action starts so we still have got plenty of time to put things right.”

Remember, we will be bringing you live commentary coverage from AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night with Jonathan Breeze and Anthony Wareing. So if you haven’t already subscribed, do so now so you can listen to the action unfold on PNE Player. 

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