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First Team News

Clarke Excited By Squad Depth

20 July 2019

Tom Clarke is excited by the quality of depth on offer at Deepdale, as he looks to secure his shirt for the start of the new season.

Despite the closeness of the squad, there is a competitive and cut-throat environment that means all players must perform in order to keep their place.

Speaking to iFollowPNE after the 3-1 loss to Southampton, he said: “You look at it in training and there’s loads of bodies, it’s exciting, it makes training feisty.

“Everybody wants to have that shirt and makes training intense.

“The gaffer’s going to have a headache, people need to do well on that pitch and claim the shirt and give him no option but to choose them. That’s what I’ll be doing in these next few games.

“That’s what the gaffer’s created here. Everyone gets on with everyone, but we know in training it’s going to be difficult.

“You know you have to be on it and with games coming up you know you have to be on it as well.

“Everyone’s going to be fighting for the shirt and wanting to be in that team come Millwall.”

Billy Bodin scored North End’s goal in the loss at Deepdale, but he did it in some style. The winger spectacularly beat three Southampton defenders before rifling his effort into the far corner.

The skipper was full of praise for the returning Bodin, and understands the hardship he has overcome.

“It’s another great goal by Bill but it’s no surprise to us, he does it in training every day.

“He so much of a flair player and when it comes off you’ve seen the quality.

“There was last season against West Ham, he’s got that in the locker. It’s just great to see him back.

“It’s a tough injury, I’ve been there in the past. I’m just thankful he’s out there on the pitch showing how good he is.”

Clarke is looking to build on the sterner test the Premier League side brought, having recovered from an illness in the lead up to the game.

“We knew it was going to be big step up from playing Bamber Bridge, Chorley and Cork, and it was.

“It was good that the lads have got the minutes in and there were no injuries from it as well.

“There were positives and negatives, things to work on. But that’s what you’re going to get in pre-season, people are coming back into it and hopefully we can keep improving.

“It was good to get out there, I spoke to the doctor yesterday, I’m still not feeling the best but it was good to get out there and get the minutes in.”

You can watch the full interview with Tom Clarke by clicking on the video above.


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