Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Westley: Real Togetherness

26 January 2013

Manager Graham Westley praised his side’s character after recording their first home point of 2013.

The Lilywhites gave a spirited and hardworking performance against Mark Robins’ Sky Blues to come back from 2-1 down to secure a point and almost snatched the win at the death.
North End withstood early pressure from the Coventry frontline and took the lead when Graham Cummins turned home a low cross from winger Jeffrey Monakana.

However the Midlands outfit fought back to take the lead until top goal scorer Nicky Wroe levelled matters midway through the second period.

Speaking after the game, Westley praised his side and gave a special mention to teenage debutant Ben Davies, full back Paul Connolly and Irish striker Cummins.

The boss said: “Going into the game we were on a run of three defeats which was playing on everybody’s mind and we needed to nip that in the bud and a draw nips that in the bud. 

“It is not the result that we wanted, we are Preston North End, and we don’t want to be over the moon drawing at home with Coventry City. 

“We are Preston North End and are we currently in a building process and in that building process with the difficulties that we have had it was a decent performance and a solid result from the lads today. 

“Character and the state of the players character is important to always find out about and today we saw a group of players who were playing for each other, playing for the Club, playing for me and playing for the result.

“There was a real determination and togetherness and probably as much togetherness as we have seen from the squad and from the team since I have been at the Club. 

“We were always going to have a difficult opening period and I felt the two debutants in the back four, Ben Davies making his first senior appearance aged 17 and Paul Connolly who is an experienced right back, the back four was always going to be tested early on.

“The back four did what a back four can do; it went on the back foot as it tried to solve the problems. It would have taken very brave players to have gone on the front foot when you are trying to solve those problems and we went on the back foot.

“It resulted in us conceding chances, the goalkeeper was overworked but as the game wore on we managed to get our defending on the front foot and we took the game to Coventry.

“Against Walsall it looked like a bunch of kids beaten us, it was a terrible afternoon and a terrible performance and it was time for an injection of energy and urgency. 

“The youngsters can sometimes show the older players what it really takes and I said in my programme notes that Ben Davies will eat dirt to win football matches and you need that. As a manager you want your side to have that characteristic. 

“It has been a big issue for the team not having Keith Keane in at right back and not having the quality and character which Keith gave the team.

“Paul Connolly is an experienced man and is a very good player, he spreads a great character into the football team and talks a very intelligent game and he will help the team. 

“Graham Cummins has had a stop start career so far at Preston North End, he came in at a very difficult time last year and I have said it before and I will say it again.

“Chris Robertson, Andy Procter and Graham Cummins joined a disjointed dressing room, they joined a dressing room that was more disunited than any environment that I have ever been in my life and it must have been very difficult for them. 

“Their careers as PNE players got up and running when the team was playing so badly that they were only ever going to get black marks against their names from the fan base.

“It has been very difficult for them to bounce back but one by one and step by step each one of them has worked hard to get themselves back up and running.

“Graham Cummins was excellent today, he was my man of the match, he ran the frontline exceptionally well and he put himself about. 

“He had no protection from the referee whatsoever, he took his goal very well and he could have scored his second with the header in the second half. He ran himself into the ground and he had to come off with cramp and that says everything about his performance.” 

Advertisement block