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TEAM TALK v PNE, 13/9/14

11 September 2014

Boss on North End visit...

THE INJURY situation means that we've had to blood a few youngsters so far this season, but they have done well for me. We had a particularly young side out in the last game and they worked extremely hard.

It will be good to have Romaine Sawyers back available again following International Duty where he scored and played well in the three games. This came at the right time for him; he has returned with his confidence boosted and a determination to get back out there for us.

I'm not expecting to have any of our injured players back for this game, although Ashley Grimes has a chance of being ready for Tuesday. On top of those already out, both Amadou Bakayoko and Rico Henry came away from Wednesday's reserve team game with knocks.

I've got every faith in this group of players and what we do as a football club. Any team would struggle with the amount and quality of player that we have missing, but we are sticking to our beliefs and will get our rewards.

It's important not to panic; as a club we stand for possession-based football, bringing through young players and winning football matches. We're ticking two of those boxes at the moment and I know that the victories will start to come.

The way in which the supporters stuck with the players last weekend really impressed me. They really got behind our young lads because they can see what we are trying to do. We know the fans are frustrated waiting for that first win because we are too; the key thing is for us to stick together.

On Saturday we face a Preston North End side who are one of the favourites to go up. They will be strong and we know it's going to be a tough game for us.

That said, we are well-prepared and looking forward to the challenge.

Defensively we have been okay so far as three clean sheets from six League games would suggest - we know that we've not scored enough goals and that is an area of our game that we have been working hard upon.

We created some good chances in the last game but didn't hit the target enough and that was disappointing. Hopefully we'll get that element of luck along the way and achieve the result we all desire on Saturday.

DEAN SMITH

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