Manager Simon Grayson had a full contingent out on the training ground on Thursday morning and has selection headaches that manager’s all want to have this weekend.
The North End boss even had Scott Laird in full training as he prepared the squad for the clash with Brian Laws’ Scunthorpe United at Deepdale this weekend.
It was the first time the Leeds-born gaffer had been able to see all his new team in action together and gives him plenty of options to select from to face The Iron.
“We’ve had everybody training today,” he enthused during his pre-match press conference after training. “John Welsh was back training, as was Stuart Beavon, so it’s been a good job getting everyone back .
The physio’s had a nice easy couple of days!
“It is great from my point of view, to be able to select from everybody and look at people in the games and great for those individuals to be back around the squad again.”
The game is one that can all but secure North End’s place in League One for 2013/14 and Grayson hopes back-to-back home wins on Saturday and Tuesday can then give him the freedom to look at all those options available to him.
“We’d like to have won the previous three, given the amount of chances and opportunities we created, but if we win at the weekend it puts us in a strong position,” he continued. “Win both games on Saturday and Tuesday, against Oldham, and it would be mathematically certain.
“Until we are mathematically safe we won’t be counting our chickens.
“At the start of the season expectation levels were high and for whatever reason they have under-achieved and our first job was to try and instil that confidence back in the players, get that unity between the supporters and the players , because you have to make sure your home environment is a positive one and since John took over, against Bournemouth, we have done that.
“We should have had four victories at home in a row with the way we have played and we want Deepdale to be an intimidating place, because – as I’ve said before – when I’ve visited this ground it has always been a difficult place to come.”
The opponents are fighting for their lives as well and will be difficult opponents for PNE, including a familiar face or two in their ranks.
“Scunthorpe are fighting for their lives and have some decent individuals. They have got players who can hurt you if you’re not careful.
“Obviously Sodje was here in the early part of the season and will be coming back looking to try and do something to show what we’ve missed out on.
“But we have to focus on what we can do better as individuals and as a team and that means when we’ve got the ball, can we create the same sort of chances, but can we finish them and be hard to beat and limit them to many opportunities.”