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Gaffer Sees Davies As Statement Signing

10 July 2013

North End manager Simon Grayson believes the addition of Kevin Davies to the Lilywhites ranks sends out a statement of the Club's intent.

PNE secured the services of the former Bolton Wanderers frontman on Wednesday morning, two weeks after their first meeting with the 36-year-old.

And Grayson is delighted with the signing of the England international and is confident the deal sends out a message about the intentions of the Club for the 2013/14 season. 

“Yeah, extremely pleased, everyone knows what Kevin’s done in the game, the level he’s played at, what he’s contributed to every football club he’s been involved in and we see it as a big signing and statement for our football club,” he said.

“It’s not been an easy signing to do because he’s had a host of other clubs that have been after him as well.”

Meanwhile, the Yorkshire-man reiterated just how hard the Club worked to ensure the signing of Davies, praising Deepdale officials for their roles in the deal.

“Obviously everybody is aware that we spoke to him a couple of weeks ago, we were coming up against teams in the Championship, and teams locally, so when I got the call last night I was absolutely delighted he had agreed to come,” he continued.

“A lot of hard work has gone in to secure this deal so we’re grateful to Mr Hemmings and Peter [Ridsdale] for making this happen and we’re delighted Kevin has chosen us over a number of other clubs.”

Davies made a name for himself in the Premier League with both Southampton and Bolton – scoring 67 goals in the top flight.

However, Grayson insists PNE’s new No. 9 has signed to earn a starting berth for the Lilywhites rather than a quick payout in the latter stages of his career. 

“We’ve had to work hard for it and he’s coming for football reasons more than financial reasons – that’s what was stated in the first place,” Grayson said.

“I’ve been speaking to Kevin on a regular basis, the delay really has been Kevin trying to get his head round where he wants to go in the last stage of his football career.

“There was a buzz from the players when he walked through the training ground doors this morning but it’s a big signing for us because he’s a player who’s played at the highest level.”
The gaffer accepts that Saturday’s visit of Liverpool would be the perfect opportunity to give Davies his first run-out in a Preston shirt, but insists the striker’s conditioning must be taken into consideration first and foremost. 

“We’ll assess him over the next couple of days to see how far he is in terms of ball work because he won’t have done any of that,” he said.

“It is a pre-season friendly and we’ve got Kevin Davies for the season, not just the Liverpool game at the weekend.

“We’ve got to make sure he’s in enough condition to play some part if we decide to go down that line, but obviously he’ll be in around it and it’ll be great for our supporters, whether he’s involved or not, to see the new signing unveiled on Saturday.”

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