United’s win on Saturday took them up into the play-off places, albeit at this early stage of the season, and manager Chris Beech admitted after the game that there are going to be some interesting selection problems ahead once he gets all of his players back, from that international duty and injury.
Speaking immediately after full time, he said: “I haven’t looked but if that’s where we are that’s where we are.
“We’ve played five games now and obviously I’m happy with that, and it’s going to be tremendous when we’ve got more problems with selection because players are back.
“When we get to the point where we’ve got Omari Patrick and Brennan Dickenson back, along with JJ Kayode and Ethan Walker – Preston’s prodigy – it’s going to be good for us.”
With a further update on Walker, who was substituted early in the game against Sunderland last Tuesday night, he explained: “His arm popped out of his socket against Sunderland just after he won us the penalty.
“Hopefully he’ll be ok, but I won’t know that until Monday morning. He’s Preston’s player and he’s seen two specialists for scans, and he’s seeing a surgeon on Monday to establish whether it will need surgery or not.
“We’ll know what we can do at that point. He’s a young lad who is doing really well and he texted me to let me know that he was really enjoying himself, and loving it, and he actually wanted to play.
“His shoulder is swollen, so that was difficult, even though back in the old days we used to just knock them back in and carry on. We don’t do that now, and he’s only 18 so we have to get it right, so I’m not sure where we are with him until we get more information.”
With continuity in the back four bringing with it increased solidity, he also spoke about the benefits of getting that type of consistency across the pitch.
“It’s been important for the defence, but it’s also important to have that in the front players as well,” he confirmed. “It helps you to work on different things and that’s why it’s been difficult to not have the same players available.
“But I’ve been really players with the way those who haven’t had minutes have supported the players who are playing. It’s going to give me a real headache, but a good headache.
“Gav Reilly was excellent in what he did, and he’s an example of that. I expected him to score from a couple of situations, but he worked hard and he allowed others to do their thing because of that.
“What I can say is that he’s the best finisher at the club. We see it every day with what he does, and if he keeps doing this his chance will drop.
“He’s only a small guy but he puts his body on the line. Leon Legge is what, 6’3 or 4 and Gav’s half his size, but he wouldn’t have had an easy day. He was constantly being contacted and manoeuvred by Gav, which was excellent. He gives us a different way of playing and that’s also important.”
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