Manager Graham Westley is delighted to have another home game to get straight back into on Tuesday night, following Saturday’s clash with Crawley Town.
The Lilywhites face off against Neale Cooper’s Hartlepool United on Tuesday night, however, before that the manager is likely to have to do a head count. Joel Byrom played another 45 minutes against Crawley at the weekend and is getting closer to full match sharpness, whilst skipper John Mousinho and Keith Keane are both likely to still be absent.
Alongside that there are a number of players facing a late check on their availability, including John Welsh who suffered a severe gash to his shin in the closing stages: “We took a lot of knocks,” said the manager. “Half a dozen of them were in for treatment on Sunday and they have all got doubts over their head for Tuesday night.
“We have already seen the freshness has been a bonus for us this season. That’s what we have a squad for – when you get a few bruises on a Saturday you dig into your squad and you put a team together to go and do the job on Tuesday; that’s why the squad is so essential if you want to go and win games.”
The manager said work had to be done looking back to the weekend before they would be able to move onto Tuesday night, but having reviewed the footage on Sunday, he felt there were positives to be taken from the defeat.
“Saturday’s performance was all part of the learning experience. We were so back to front in our play it was horrible and frustrating to watch, but you could see why. We weren’t developing our movements, so the passing options weren’t there.
“When I watched the game back, there was more strength than some of the performances when we’ve gone 2-0 up. We were quite progressive in our play and we had half a dozen shots on goal and we could have very easily taken the lead. Had we done that we would have probably gone on in the game.
“After a performance like Saturday you want to get back out there. You just want to get the next three points, so it is good to have a game to jump back into.”
The visit of Hartlepool will be a different challenge again to that faced against Crawley and despite their long travels to Bournemouth at the weekend, they will bring a very hard-working brand of football with them, which will test the Lilywhites’ resolve.
“They are always a very hard-working side. They have a lot of experienced players and a lot of know how. They are very difficult to break down and make themselves difficult to play against.
“They have big Steve Howard up front who is always a handful. He can hold the ball up and people can go and join him. They are a tough side to beat and I am sure we’ll have to work hard at the game to win it.”
Tickets are on general sale for all home areas. The ticket and retail store is open until 5pm on Monday and again from 9am on Tuesday, with the ticket hotline – 0844 856 1966 – open the same time. You can also buy online until midnight via www.mypne.com. Avoid any queues, book in advance and get behind the boys as they look to immediately bounce back.