Wednesday 17 January 2018

Simon Makienok's "perfect" night may not be enough to earn Preston league start

Denmark international Simon Makienok is on loan at Preston from Italian side Palermo
Denmark international Simon Makienok is on loan at Preston from Italian side Palermo

Preston striker Simon Makienok enjoyed the "perfect" night as he scored a hat-trick to see off Bournemouth in the EFL Cup on Tuesday - but he admits that may not be enough to earn him his first league start.

The 25-year-old Denmark international grabbed his first North End goal to open the scoring at the Vitality Stadium before Bournemouth, showing 11 changes from their defeat at Manchester City, struck back.

A Lewis Grabban penalty and a close-range Dan Gosling goal looked to have the Premier League outfit on course to the fourth round.

But Makienok, on loan from Palermo having been on a similar deal at Charlton last season, headed level to send the game into extra-time where he then added his third to send Simon Grayson's men through.

"It was perfect for me," he said of his performance, which saw him score the first hat-trick of his career.

"From the first minute we were organised and good as a team, fighting for each other even though we had a whole new squad from our last game. We showed we have a wide squad and everybody did brilliant.

"I haven't played that much until now this season. Obviously I'm new in the team and I need to get to know how everybody plays and get to know my team-mates.

"My first season in the Championship gave me a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge of how it is to play in England, how it is to play in this league because it is so competitive.

"I think I'm moving on and getting better and better and will keep on pushing and trying to do my best."

Preston also made wholesale changes for the clash on the south coast as only full-back Greg Cunningham survived from their 5-0 defeat at Brentford at the weekend.

They now host Wigan on Friday night in the Sky Bet Championship and Makienok concedes even his hat-trick heroics do not guarantee he will keep his place in the side.

Asked if the manager could leave him out after such a showing, he replied: "We will see, it was a tough night and we have a game in three days.

"The manager will do what is best for the team and everybody showed today they are ready so it is just about grabbing your chance when you get it.

"It was my first goal in a real game for Preston and my first ever professional hat-trick, it was a perfect night for me."

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was left defending his decision to change his entire team, even if he did admit those who came into the side did not perform.

Despite the likes of Jack Wilshere, Callum Wilson, Jordan Ibe and Simon Francis not even making the squad, the Cherries' side on display still cost in excess of £40million to assemble.

But Howe does not believe he has been given a selection headache ahead of the weekend visit of Everton, with only goalscorer Gosling receiving any sort of praise.

"They're two different sets of players but we're one club," he said.

"The performances need to echo consistency, week-in-week-out, regardless of who they are. A win would have been getting away with it. In the second half we were a lot better but we couldn't hold on and they deserved to win.

"I don't think, Dan Gosling apart, that I will have selection issues. He kept going, led by example. I believe in the players but that didn't show."

Press Association

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