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Club News

Head Count For PNE Boss

3 January 2013

Manager Graham Westley will be doing a head count before his side head to London for their FA Cup third round tie with Millwall on Saturday.

The PNE chief had just 13 fit players on the training ground on Thursday morning as he prepared his troops for the clash with the Championship promotion chasers and was not overly hopeful of having too many more by the time 3pm on Saturday afternoon comes around.

“Bailey went off with concussion [on Tuesday], his second of the season, and we have to manage that in line with the guidelines. It is extremely unlikely he is going to be fit for the weekend,” said the gaffer.

“We only had 13 on the training ground this morning and there are a few rated 50/50, so there probably won’t be too many more available for the weekend.”

Their task was a tough one even before the injury problems that have beset the camp, Millwall are on the cusp of the Play-Off places, having had an excellent run of form just before the festive period and North End and its manager face an opponent he knows well.

“They are in a great run of form. They are right up there in the Championship, and we know what a tough league that is. We know how well we are going to have to play to get anything at a tough away ground against a side that is inevitably going to be well-organised. 

“They are fit, they are strong and Kenny’s sides are never easy to play against. We know exactly what kind of encounter it is going to be and we are going to have to play at an exceptionally good level to win the tie.

“Kenny took some time to get it going there, but he is a hard-working guy, someone I have got a lot of respect for and I know him well. 

“We had some transfer dealings when I sold him Steve Morrison and he is a professional guy. He doesn’t say too much for himself, he just gets on with his job and he has done a very good job there.”

However, with the boost of a New Year’s Day victory over Hartlepool United, the North End squad will head to The Den with confidence: “The win at Hartlepool was, I think, an important one. 

“Everyone will see it as a game we ought to have won because they are bottom of the league, but they showed last weekend what they can produce by winning at Sheffield United. 

“You get nothing for nothing; you have to earn your points whether you are playing the top or the bottom and I thought it was a dogged display against Hartlepool and that doggedness was a positive and a nice way to start the year,” he added.

For an extended chat with the manager log on to PNE Player, you can hear about his views on the FA Cup, his hopes for the game and the injury situation, click here to log on.

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