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Fans Sent Home Happy

20 April 2013

Simon Grayson was delighted to send the fans away from Deepdale smiling after the last home game of the campaign.

A solitary strike from Jeffrey Monakana; his second in two games, just moments from the half-time whistle was enough for the Lilywhites to claim a third successive home win.

The result killed off Tranmere Rovers’ faint Play-Off hopes but North End were never under any real threat as the gaffer discussed in his post-match press conference.

“We have said for the last couple of weeks that we wanted to finish the season in a positive manner, send the supporters away from Deepdale happy with what they have seen,” said the manager.

“I think today they have seen a fantastic attitude in wanting to win a game, working hard for the club and the shirt and have shown some good quality at times, so it is a positive place to be.

“Now we have finished the season at home we are delighted with winning another game, we got another clean sheet.

“We won the game in a comfortable manner really, in a professional manner I would say.

“I think they started the game probably better in the first five minutes and then we got into it.

“Welshy [John Welsh] had a couple of good opportunities with his free kicks, balls flashing across the box, they came back into it just before half-time but obviously we got the goal from Jeffrey which was a good finish.

“In the second-half I thought we were quite comfortable really, we changed the system slightly with Lee Holmes coming on for about 15 minutes or so and I thought we controlled the game.

“From my point of view the last ten minutes was really pleasing because we finished in a real professional manner.

“We knew when to go forwards, backwards, sideways and kept the ball away from our goal and from the opposition.”

North End’s goal was a fine team move which was finished well by Monakana as he smashed the ball into the roof of the net and with clean sheet’s at home becoming a common occurrence; six in seven matches, the gaffer was pleased with the way in which the game was won.

He continued: “We try and play in the right manner; we are not going to play kamikaze football in our own 18 yard box, if it is on to play we will play.

“I thought we worked it well [the goal], got into the area and Jeffrey showed good composure to finish it off and we are delighted that he has got another goal.

“We could have had another couple of goals, Lee Holmes had some good opportunities, Jack King, who again I thought was outstanding for us, holding the ball up and his work rate, he was close with a couple of opportunities.

“It would have been nice to get another couple of goals but a clean sheet, victory and sending the supporters home in a happy mood is good.

“We are working hard as a team on the training pitch, I think defenders take credit for it [clean sheets] but you see other player in front of them, you see first-half, Will Hayhurst gives the ball away but he runs and chases and gets the ball back quickly.

“Jack King blocks a shot on the edge of the box and that’s what you do.

“People see the other side of your passion and the movement and playing entertaining football but it’s when people put their bodies on the line when they have to do.”

North End now travel to Crawley Town on Tuesday night, six points behind them with two games to go as they try to close in on a top half finish, something which would be a bonus for the backroom team.

“When we came in in the first place we said first and foremost we must stay in the division and anything after that we will keep building and building for next year and we have done that so far,” added Grayson.

“The players have got to take a lot of credit because I thought today that they worked extremely hard.

“It is quite easy for players mentality wise to see the last home game of the season, sunshine out there and they are ready for their holidays, but we weren’t certainly going to allow them to think about their holidays and they were very professional in their performance.”

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