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Top Half Incentive For Gaffer

22 April 2013

Simon Grayson is harbouring hopes of a top half finish with victory over Crawley Town tomorrow.

North End face the team directly above them in the league table on Tuesday night and a win would put them within three points of overtaking the Red Devils for 12th spot with one game left to play.

And that is all the incentive the backroom staff and the players need as the 2012/13 season enters the final furlong.

“It is another game and we want to win it as well, two games to go for ourselves, we want to try and get six points out of the two games to take us above Crawley and finish in the top half of the division so there is plenty of incentive for us,” said Grayson.

“I know Crawley will be wanting to win it because they will be wanting to finish in a positive manner with the two home games that they have got coming up, so it is a good opportunity for us to go and try get another victory.

“We want to try and sneak into that top 12 because that would be a great achievement based on where the club was a few months ago.

“Crawley have had a decent season, there is one or two players who we are aware of, Jamie Proctor obviously used to be here.

“They had a poor result at the weekend against Oldham but like any manager and any football club, two games to go they will want to win those games to send the supporters home in a real happy mood.

“It’s a long way for us to go on a Tuesday but I don’t think the games can come quick enough for us at this moment in time, even though you are at the back end of the season.

“Players want to be playing and carrying on their good form and enjoying these high moments because there hasn’t been too many of them over the course of the season for them.

“It’s not ideal having to go so far on a Tuesday night but that’s part and parcel of football.

“We are going down there to play and our supporters are going down there and it is costing them to go down and watch them so I’m sure we will have a good following.

“As I said we want to win our last two games to really finish the season in a positive manner.”

Despite this being the tail end of a gruelling season, the gaffer believes his players are fighting fit to push the team over the finish line and into the top half of League One.

He continued: “It has been a long hard season because the games that they have played in the league, the cup games, the training sessions, it’s a long season, but I think when you look at the performances on a Saturday and 
Tuesday so far you see how strong the players are.

“They are finishing games strongly, never looking like we are running out of steam, one or two lads are getting cramp but that’s the young boys, you’re talking Jeffrey [Monakana]and Will [Hayhurst] getting cramp a little bit but that’s because they are working so hard.”

The Lilywhites have injury doubts over striking duo Joe Garner and Stuart Beavon for the match at the Broadfield Stadium but Nicky Wroe is available once again following his one match suspension following his sending off against Carlisle United.

Speaking about his playing squad the gaffer added: “Joe Garner took a knock on his knee so he will be a doubt for the game, we will assess him this morning and obviously Nicky Wroe comes back into contention after suspension.

“Beav [Stuart Beavon] will probably be a doubt with his shoulder but other than that we have got options for people to try and do what they can do in the team.”

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