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Club News

Gaffer Happy With Motivated Options

11 February 2013

Manager Graham Westley is delighted to be able to call upon the services of former Yeovil skipper Paul Huntington for his return to Huish Park.

The North End No.4 is a ready-made replacement for the suspended Bailey Wright and returns to the Glovers for the first time with plenty of reasons to get North End back to winning ways.

The Lilywhites come up against the division’s form team and the gaffer hopes that his Carlisle-born centre half will be fired up for the occasion.

“It is a bonus that Hunty [Paul Huntington] is available there to go in,” he said at his pre-match press briefing. “He’s going back to his old club and I am sure he will have the motivation to go back there and put on a decent show.

“It is one of those fortunate things that we have lost a centre half and we have gained a particularly motivated one for this occasion. It isn’t a blessing in disguise, as we will miss Bailey, but we have good cover.”

The team will look to end Yeovil’s run of six straight wins and the statistic that the Lilywhites will be looking to build on is turning the chances created into goals.

“I keep talking about how we had 26 chances for and five against versus Shrewsbury and on Saturday we had 16 for and only eight against; so we are dominated games in terms of chances – we are just not doing enough in both penalty boxes, it’s as simple as that!

“We have to make sure we concede less and less chances and that we create more and more chances, but in the two penalty boxes we have to show a bit more ruthlessness in our box and a bit more clinicality in theirs,” continued the PNE boss.

The clash with the Somerset side is the third between the teams this season; North End having twice scored three goals to defeat Gary Johnson’s side at Deepdale and the manager thinks these results will give the opponents plenty of motivation of their own.

“We know them well, because we have had them in the league and the Cup and I have seen them a few times as well because of the way their fixtures have fallen.

“They’ve had a tremendous run of results – six straight wins now in the league – you wouldn’t have seen it coming.

“Credit to Gary Johnson for what he has done. He’s always a guy who can get a team going. He plays a certain time of football and encourages lads in a certain way. He’s a canny manager; he portrays one image but plays a different game to what he portrays and he is always an interesting manager to play against.

“I am sure they will think that the two victories we’ve had over them this season have been deserved and I am sure they will want to answer back, so you can see where their motivation will be coming from.

“They are at the top end of the league, looking to get into the Play-Off spots and they have issues with us. It’s an interesting game; one that we’re looking forward to and one where we’ve got to start showing what Preston North End is all about.

“As players, the boys mustn’t be happy wearing Preston North End shirts, they have to start putting some pride and a victory into the shirts and they have to stand up and be counted. They have had enough time to grow into the shirts, now they have to start wearing them properly,” he added.

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