Simpson praise for Nugent
By Steve Bramley
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Paul Simpson feels interest in David Nugent is making the striker a better player.
Preston boss Paul Simpson believes the continued interest in David Nugent is making the striker an even better player.
Steve McClaren was in the stands at Deepdale on Tuesday to see Nugent play in his side's 1-0 Championship win over Ipswich.
The England coach was joined in the stands by Everton's ex-Preston boss David Moyes and Bolton assistant manager Sammy Lee, who are believed to be tracking the 21-year-old.
Nugent, who passed a late fitness test on a back injury before the game, rarely got a chance to shine in front of McClaren as Preston maintained their push for Premiership football.
But despite his below-par display, Simpson said the forward was learning all the time and would only get better.
"Over the last few months I've seen a side to David Nugent that has really impressed me because he hasn't been carried away by the speculation and his attitude to everything has been first class," said Simpson.
"I've seen a side that I wasn't really sure would come out. I thought he would get carried away but I think it's made him better."
Simpson admitted Nugent, scorer of 15 goals this season, had been "hyper" in the build-up to the game.
"Since the news came out that the England Under-21 game was going to be the first match at the new Wembley he's been like a kid with a new toy," added the North End boss.
"I think he'd be gutted if he was called up to the full squad and missed out on that!
"He maybe was aware (McClaren was watching) and that's been something but he's got some big games to play and he'll learn from it."