Westley: Keeper debut no gamble

Simonsen: Highly rated by Westley

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Preston boss Graham Westley insists it wasn't a gamble to hand Steve Simonsen a league debut in the 5-0 win over Hartlepool.

Simonsen came in for towering German stopper Thorsten Stuckmann as one of five changes from the XI that went down 2-1 to Crawley last weekend.

Stuckmann was North End's standout performer in a turbulent campaign last term but has not kept a clean sheet since the opening day of the season and Westley was happy to call upon the former Everton and Stoke man.

"Having a Premier League goalkeeper between the sticks isn't the biggest gamble any manager will take," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"Steve has a lot of experience, he's very good with his feet and we saw great evidence of him helping to get the team playing from the back."