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Club News

Holmes Hopes For Quick Return

6 April 2013

Lee Holmes is hoping for a quick return to action after his half-time substitution against Scunthorpe.

The wing man had just scored the opening goal of the game when he felt a tweak in his right hamstring and was replaced at the interval by John Welsh, himself returning from a spell on the sidelines.

Despite the niggle, he spoke to PNE.Com after the game and was delighted to see  North End secure a 3-0 victory over struggling Scunthorpe, as the Lilywhites' unbeaten home record under Simon Grayson continued.

Goals from Holmes, Nicky Wroe and Jack King saw the Lilywhites claim a vital three points against an Irons side that included ex-North End player Akpo Sodje in their starting line-up.

The winger, who turned 26 last week, opened the scoring for North End shortly before half time before limping off with a hamstring injury, but that could not dampen Holmes’ mood as he revealed he does not expect his law-off to be a long one.

“I think all in all over the 90 minutes we deserved to win,” Holmes said. “It was great to get three goals and to keep the clean sheet so we’re happy with our performance.

“In previous games we’ve not scored the chances that we probably should have but today we took our chances well. 

“We could have had a few more but as soon as we got the first it was only a matter of time before we scored a few more, which obviously we did, which was a brilliant feeling.

“I came off as a precaution. I was feeling my hamstring a little bit. It’s nothing too serious but I didn’t want to do any more damage to it. 

“I don’t envisage it being a long one at all and I hope to return to action as soon as possible.”

With North End struggling for goals in recent weeks, the win saw Grayson’s men end a four-game winless run, with Holmes revealing his delight not only at another clean sheet, but also at the emphatic score-line. 

“It feels like we’re in a good place at the minute. We’re playing solidly, not conceding many goals and are creating chances,” Holmes said. 

“It was good today for us to take those chances but more importantly it was important for us to claim another three points, another clean sheet and all in all it was a good performance.

“As a team in previous games I think we’ve all not had our shooting boots on. We have been creating chances that we should have perhaps been expected to put away.” 

Holmes added: “It was nice today to get three goals and to be part of it. To get the three points and get a goal myself was very pleasing.”

The former England youth international was full of praise for his team-mates after the match, with Stuart Beavon, Keith Keane, Jack King and Nicky Wroe’s performances all catching the eye of North End’s number 11.

“It was a great ball to pick me out from Beav. We’ve missed him in the last couple of games and were all delighted to have him back in the side, the same as Welshy,” said Holmes. 

“He brings a lot to the side with his work-rate and attacking threat, and even though he didn’t get on the scoresheet today I think he proved that with his performance.

“Keano was also magnificent today. He was a big miss earlier in the season when he got injured, and fully deserved to be named man of the match today. 

“He’s a really good player, and you can tell he got from the reception he got off the crowd at the end how important he is to the side.

“It was a great finish from Nicky. He’s been dying to get to that number ten and obviously he’s got it now so we’re all pleased for him. 

“He’s kicked in with some good goals this season and rightly so he’s made it double figures. He’s our leading scorer now. 

“I know he tried an effort like his goal today against Notts County but missed, so he’ll be delighted to have pulled it off today.

“As for Kingy, he has been really unlucky not to score in recent weeks and after he hit the post and saw his effort cleared off the line you can be forgiven for thinking it might again be one of those days for him. 

“But he got the goal his performance deserved and we’re all pleased for him. It was a brilliant ball into the box from Jeff and a great header from him. It capped off a fantastic performance.”

Holmes also praised the Preston fans after the game as he dedicated the win to the Deepdale faithful, before revealing his pleasure at managing to get one over on a familiar face.

“I said to Akpo before he walked out there was no chance he was going to score today and thankfully he didn’t,” Holmes revealed.

“He’s a dangerous player, as we all know from when he was here. He can sniff a goal out which is something we were aware of. He deservedly got a great reception from the crowd. 

“The atmosphere out there was brilliant. Despite the slow start the fans really got behind us and it was just great we could get the win for them.”

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