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First Team News

Will Keane’s ‘Perfect Day’ In Stoke

2 September 2023

Scorer of two Will Keane feels Preston North End had “pretty much a perfect day” in the Potteries, as they secured a fourth successive victory.

North End’s No.9 opened the scoring from the spot early in the second half before then netting another just six minutes later to help his side win 2-0 against Stoke City.

The victory extended PNE’s unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship campaign and took them right to the very top of the table.

“It was pretty much a perfect day,” Will said. “I thought it was another outstanding display from the team from front to back.

“It was great to obviously take the lead early in the second half but then I thought the way we defended, we were so resolute and everyone put a magnificent shift in again, and it’s great to get that clean sheet.

“It’s another massive three points to end the first block of games.”

After a goalless opening period which was relatively even, manager Ryan Lowe opted to make a change at half-time.

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Duane Holmes came on to replace Mads Frøkjær and instantly became involved, setting up Will for a chance in the opening minute of the half, but the Irish international sent it just wide.

Duane kept causing problems, though, and earned a penalty in the 51st minute – which Will smashed down the middle – before then assisting the second goal of the afternoon.

Asked how he was feeling to score twice, Will said: “Chuffed. I was disappointed actually with the one at the start of the half when I got a good touch away and I just dragged it. I felt like I should have scored that as well to be honest.

“I would have liked three, but just glad to get that chance from the spot soon after it and Duane coming on made a great impact.

“Mads had a few great moments in the first half as well, but I think Duane got the ball and he drove into the box and committed the defender.

“When I got it I was just confident I was going to put it in the back of the net and got a nice clean strike off.

“[For the second goal] I was trying to support it from the middle so I had a good angle of it and Pottsy’s got that in the locker.

“Perfect shape on the ball, great weight, and that’s what Duane can do. He stretched the back four and saw the space in behind and got in there.

“As soon as I saw the pass I knew Duane was going to get on the end of it and I wasn’t sure if he was going to get his head up or not, but he’s obviously got the awareness and [played a] perfect ball across and I was glad to see that go in as well.”

Both goals were scored in front of a sold-out away end, holding just short of 2,600 PNE supporters who made themselves heard all day long.

Will smiled: “It was incredible; such a great turnout and a nice day for it, wasn’t it?

“Hopefully they’ve enjoyed their day out and go and enjoy their weekends.

“It was great and in a way a shame that we can’t carry on after such good momentum, but I’m sure they’ll be itching to get going again in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to get back in front of them.”

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