JACK­ETT HAPPY AS FAVOURITES

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Colin Hen­rys

NEW boss Kenny Jack­ett ad­mit­ted his Wolves side must im­prove if they are to live up to their billing as ti­tle favourites af­ter his reign opened with a feisty goal­less draw at Pre­ston.

In a fix­ture cel­e­brat­ing two of the Football League’s found­ing mem­bers in its 125th sea­son, there were few chances as both sides matched each other in a tough, phys­i­cal con­test.

And Jack­ett be­lieves his side – who were with­out striker Kevin Doyle – have to be­come more of an at­tack­ing threat to com­pete for the ti­tle.

“It’s no sur­prise that we’d be tagged as favourites,” he said. “In terms of a chang­ing group and team, it shows that you are never quite sure what you have un­til you get out there and play.

“In terms of the favourite tag, we have to make sure we do bet­ter on the ball, par­tic­u­larly in the sec­ond half as we didn’t have a shot on tar­get and that’s where we can im­prove.

“In terms of Kevin, gen­er­ally his wages are too high for where we are – that’s com­mon knowl­edge.

“Be­tween now and the end of the win­dow there will be in­ter­est in him but in the mean­time he’s not some­one that I’m go­ing to close the door on if he’s fit and the team needs him.”

The vis­i­tors cre­ated the bet­ter chances early on, with Bakary Sako forc­ing Declan Rudd into a low save on 13 min­utes, be­fore fir­ing well over from dis­tance on 22.

Leigh Grif­fiths, start­ing his first Wan­der­ers game af­ter two suc­cess­ful years on loan at Hiber­nian, was later de­nied by John Welsh’s headed goal-line clear­ance on 37 min­utes.

Pre­ston new boy Kevin Davies was a con­stant men­ace for the vis­i­tors and went close within a minute of the restart as Carl Ikeme charged down his shot, which then de­flected nar­rowly wide.

Nei­ther side were able to break the dead­lock, but Pre­ston boss Si­mon Grayson was still sat­is­fied with a point to start the new sea­son.

“It was a good open­ing day fix­ture for us,” he said. “There was a lot of en­deav­our, good at­ti­tude from both sets of play­ers and the work rate was there from our point of view.

“The first thing you want to do first game of the sea­son is make sure you don’t get beaten. I think we can be re­ally pleased with how we per­formed.

“There was some good in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances. I don’t nor­mally pick out play­ers but I thought Tom Clarke was ex­cel­lent.

“Kevin Davies is a hand­ful, he uses his body ex­tremely well, he gets into good po­si­tions and he wins a few free-kicks.

“Ev­ery cen­tre-half will know they’ve been in a game come the end of the sea­son when they’ve played against Kevin and we’re de­lighted that we have him in our team.

“Al­though ob­vi­ously you’ll try to win the game, hence why I went to 4-4-2 for the last five min­utes. “We can be re­ally pleased

with how we per­formed.”

BIG CLASH: David Davis and Bjorn Sig­ur­dar­son duel with Pre­ston’s Keith Keane and Will Hay­hurst in the bat­tle in mid­field JUMP: Jake Cassidy, left, in ac­tion with Pre­ston’s Billy Wright

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