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First Team News

Kevin Davies Delighted With Hugill Progress

15 November 2017

First Team News

Kevin Davies Delighted With Hugill Progress

15 November 2017

Former PNE and Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies sat down for an extended interview with iFollow PNE ahead of Friday's match at Deepdale.

Davies, who was part of the North End squad who won promotion in 2015, discusses everything from his new role as manager at Southport, his thoughts on Friday's clash between PNE and Bolton and much more in between.

You can watch the full interview with Davies here.

One topic discussed by the England international was the development of fellow striker and former teammate Jordan Hugill.

The style of play of both players drew many similarities during Kevin's time at Deepdale, and the 40-year-old has been impressed with Hugill's progress over the last few seasons.

"I am really pleased for him because he's put the hard work in and he's always been willing. He's certainly a handful, if you ask any defender they probably hate playing against him because he's one of those that can be in your face, he's always nipping around and you never get a moment of rest with him.

"To see him develop over the period that I was there to where he is now I think it's all down to him and his desire, his dedication and his passion to prove he can do it at this level.

"He's certainly surprised me, I wasn't quite sure what his level was. I remember speaking to him at a game I did last year on TV, he was on his way, he was improving all of the time and I was really impressed by him because I felt with his fitness levels and the injuries he's had he couldn't quite maintain it but now he looks like he's really becoming the full package and that's all down to what he's put in.

"I think he was given that opportunity with the likes of Joe Garner moving on, and Jermaine Beckford, which probably limited his opportunites as it did with mine really. So he's taken that opportunity and that's what football is about, taking those opportunities and he's put in the hard graft and now he's one of the best strikers in the league you would have to say.

"He's always being linked to big money moves as well so credit to him and I'm really pleased that he's doing so well, scoring goals as well. He's a top guy and fair play to him."

Unsurprisingly, Davies is a fan of Hugill's for his effort and desire, and his physical ability on the pitch, but believes now he has added quality to his game, he is one of the best strikers in the Championship.

"He plays on the edge, he's fully committed, he's willing to throw himself in where it hurts sometimes. Sometimes though you have to be a bit careful of doing that, he had a couple of sending offs I think and you can pick up injuries, but he's certainly committed.

"As a manager and a teammate, to have someone in your team like that who you know is going to unsettle the defence, track back and who can do all the horrible things in the game, he's certainly got that in the locker as well. He's added the quality now, his finishing and being effective with the ball as well and I think all round he's improved massively since he first arrived at the club.

"I love that style of play, it's a lot harder in the modern game now to play that way with the officials and whatnot but I don't think he's going to chance. He will keep doing what he's doing and get that reputation and when you have that reputation as a player going into games, you've nearly won half of the battle anyway because the defenders know they are going to be in for a tough game. It's just important that he keeps doing it and for me, not change anything!"

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