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Monday, April 2, 2012
Risdale confirms tactics leak

Preston chairman Peter Ridsdale has confirmed his side's line-up and tactics were leaked to Sheffield Wednesday by their own players ahead of Saturday's 2-0 League One defeat.

North End were beaten by two Gary Madine goals at Hillsborough on Saturday lunchtime and furious manager Graham Westley immediately accused four players of informing the Wednesday camp of their intended team and shape in his post-match press conference.

However, Ridsdale, who appointed Westley in January, insists the actions were not malicious.

"What Graham said after the game on Saturday was true," Ridsdale told the Lancashire Evening Post.

"It was almost said in the heat of the moment after the disappointment of a defeat, and it was disappointing that our pre-match preparations were known to the opposition in advance.

"I'm aware categorically where the information came from, although I don't think it was done maliciously.

"It's unfortunate that it happened, but it's time to draw a line under it and move on in order to focus on our game against MK Dons on Saturday."

Westley did not take the same view in the aftermath of the defeat and believes he is working against forces in the dressing room, though has yet to name any of the accused culprits.

He said: "We are where we are because the club's got a lot of losing ways installed in the playing squad and there's no better example than when their bench said to me during the second half.

"I've got to believe their dugout when it says it to me and I think from dugout to dugout I would very rarely believe that someone would lie to me on that sort of information.

"Four players of ours yesterday (Friday), at five o'clock, revealed our team to them as a football club.

"Does it surprise me? When you've got a number of agendas within a club - and I've said since I've been here that that's the case within the playing squad here - this sort of thing happens and it's not the first time that something's happened that's surprised me.

"It's a difficult place at the moment, our club and our dressing room. But it's only by working through issues and sorting issues out that you get yourself into a winning position.''

Westley's short stay at Deepdale has so far been riddled with controversy after reports emerged in national newspapers that he informed players that they would not be playing by text message in the early hours on the day of a game at Yeovil.

North End have won just two of 15 games under the control of Westley and they sit just six points above the League One relegation zone.

Despite Ridsdale's confirmation that details were leaked, several Preston players have taken to Twitter to register their disbelief at the claims.

Striker Neil Mellor, who was not involved at Hillsborough, tweeted: "Wasn't involved with game sat v owls but can't believe this story my team mates would leak the team.''

Fellow striker Iain Hume, who was an unused substitute, said: "I can categorically say I never have and never would tell anyone any inside info! 2 be honest I think it's all utter rubbish!

"...the comments in my eyes came from somebody tryin 2 unsettle our dressin room! My opinion 2 be honest! Can't see and....

"hopefully proven right that any of my team mates would divulge info like that! We're close and it needs 2 stay that way!''




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