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First Team News

Dai ‘Really Enjoyed’ PNE Debut Against Wolves

23 August 2022

Dai Cornell said he “really enjoyed” making his Preston North End debut, despite a defeat against Wolves in the Carabao Cup.

The goalkeeper made his first competitive appearance for the club in the second round tie, which saw the Premier League side come out 2-1 winners, with Ben Woodburn on the scoresheet for the Lilywhites.

Dai was called into action on numerous occasions at Molineux, including a penalty save in first-half stoppage time to deny Hee Chan Hwang.

Dai said: “I’m really proud to pull the shirt on for the first time.

“I was a bit nervous before the game, but I really enjoyed it. I’ve been supporting Fred [Freddie Woodman] as much as I can, and he’s been doing great, so I was really appreciative of the opportunity tonight.

“I think it probably took us a little bit of time to get going, but the second half was really pleasing.

“Obviously disappointed that we lost the game, but I think there’s lots of positive to take from it.”

The home side started the better of the two, scoring inside eight minutes through Raúl Jiménez, before Adama Traoré doubled the scoring shortly before the half-hour mark.

Wolves were seeing plenty of the ball in the opening half, as PNE took a little bit of time to adapt to the higher quality of opposition, but Ryan Lowe’s side started to play a slightly different way and came out fighting in the second period.

Dai said: “I think it was different to what we have been doing in terms of we didn’t really play out from the back a lot because it was working a bit more going longer.

“We were getting joy off the second balls and that so I think it’s managing games.

“Sometimes we’ll have to do it this way, sometimes we’ll have to play out from the back, so that’s us learning again and we’ll take that on to the weekend now.”

The former Peterborough United goalkeeper has so far been an unused substitute in each game in all competitions, before getting the nod at Molineux on Tuesday evening.

Freddie Woodman has been the man between the sticks in all five league games, keeping a clean sheet in each and in doing so setting a new club record.

Dai described the defensive displays so far this season as “brilliant”, and he’s focused on continuing to support his fellow shot-stopper.

Asked what his role is going forward, the Welshman said: “Immediately it’s to support Fred and do as much as I can to help Fred to prepare for the weekend really.

“You can kind of see tonight there’s a bit of a shout of if needed I can step in and do the job, but I’m here to give everything every day, and help the team as much as I can when I’m needed on and off the pitch.”

You can watch Dai's full interview above on iFollow PNE.

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