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First Team News

New Signings Bring Balance For Alex Neil

25 June 2018

After a busy summer recruitment period so far, Preston North End manager Alex Neil has spoken of the balance that the new signings can bring to his squad.

Graham Burke and Andrew Hughes have been the latest players to come through the doors at Deepdale, following Jordan Storey, Michael Crowe and Ryan Ledson.

Arriving from Peterborough United just last week, Andrew Hughes is a player that Alex Neil has admired for some time, dating back to his time at Norwich.

Speaking to PNE.Com, the gaffer said: “Andrew’s in his prime years now, being 26, and I think he’s ready to come up and do it at this level.

“He’s someone we have known about, even going back to my Norwich days he was someone we looked at. We are hoping with his size and presence he will certainly add a lot to this group.

“We are losing Greg and one thing that we needed to do was to make sure we had the balance of youth and experience in the squad.

“I was conscious of the fact that we have young Josh Earl coming through and I didn’t think we needed two young lads fighting for the same position; I think we need to make sure we have the balance correct.

“Andrew is a very good player; he has been really consistent the last two seasons. He has played a lot of games. He wasn’t signing his contract at Peterborough, so I think he was ready, because he thought he could take that step up and prove himself at a higher level.

“All round, for everybody, it’s a good bit of business for us. It gives him a great opportunity and I think it gives us another really good squad member and hopefully he can help us this season.”

Alex also spoke about the balance that Jordan Storey can bring, as well as the versatility fellow new boy Graham Burke offers.

“I was talking about balance when I was talking about Andrew, and Jordan is going to give us balance as well.

“We have got Tom [Clarke] and Hunts [Paul Huntington] who are now in their 30s who have both been great servants to the club and we’re obviously trying to do deals with both to extend; and then we have got Jordan who is a young, up and coming centre back, who is trying to push anybody that’s in the centre back positions so that he can get his slot.

“With Graham Burke, one thing about him which I like is that he’s flexible. He can play as a No.7, he can play as No.11, he can play as a No.10, he can play as a No.9. He’s got that flexibility in terms of where he can play at the top end of the pitch.

“We are all about planning for the future and making sure that we have got new players underneath the other players pushing them on. That is the only way you can have a competitive and healthy squad. It is another great bit of business.”

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