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Tommo Pleased With Signing Of Baptiste

2 September 2016

First team coach Steve Thompson is looking forward to working with Alex Baptiste once again.

Thompson worked with the defender at Blackpool and is delighted to join up with him at Deepdale. 

Speaking of what the 30-year-old will bring to the current PNE side, Thompson said: "He’s got experience, he knows how to get out of this division, he’s a good defender. 

"He’s very quick and I think as a defender if you have those qualities, like his pace, it can get you out of a lot of trouble. He’ll be a good addition to us, he’ll fit into our work ethic and team spirit.

"Simon knows him, I know him so he ticks all the boxes for us. It has strengthened the squad and its competition for places for everyone. 

Thompson was impressed with the work ethic of North End's deadline day signing, who was determined to go out on loan and get game time. 

"He got an injury playing for Middlesbrough and he’s come back fantastic from that and he got over it. He could have stayed at Middlesbrough and been a bit-part player but he’s a good character and he wants to play football. 

"Numerous clubs were after him and it was great that we managed to get it over the line. I spoke to him at Brett’s testimonial the other weekend and I told him that it’s a great club with great players, we just need to start picking up results. 

"He will sure it up at the back if he’s selected. It makes the team stronger.

The signing of two new defenders on deadline day in Baptiste and Marnick Vermijl, along with the arrival of Aiden McGeady, has now provided more depth to the squad and will give the staff more options when it coems to team selection and tactics. 

"They are a good bunch and we’ve always said that since day one. We’ve not had the best of starts we will make sure we get the results and he’ll be a good acquisition as will the other two that have come in.

"It makes the squad stronger and there is competition for places give the manager a lot of choices now, to play what formations he wants to play, home and away and to change against different teams.

"It gives us options to play different formations. That’s one thing we have done, we’ve not conceded many goals but on the other side we have to make sure we score goals and that’s the big thing at the moment. 

"It’s important that we get the strikers firing and the midfielders. 
We’ve got to make sure that all the team chip in with goals we can’t just rely on the strikers.

In his first interview with PNE PlayerHD, Baptiste refered to Thompson as a friend as well as a coach, and that is something that is very much the case with all of the staff and players at North End. 

Speaking of his, and assistant manager Glynn Snodin's relationship with the players, he continued: "That’s part of being a number two in the coaching staff, the lads that are out of the team you have to make sure you keep their spirits up. 

"You keep them fit and working on thing because the lads that are playing keep their fitness levels up. As a number two you try and keep all the problems away and that’s what me and Snods are good at. 

"We are very approachable we can put an arm around them but also a bit of a roasting when we need to. The important thing is you work on them to try and get into the team. 

"We are a phone call away from anybody, we will stay on the training pitches, we know what they have to work on and we will stay behind and do it. That’s the sort of people we are here."

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