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Gaffer Glad Of Quick Turnaround

26 August 2013

Simon Grayson thinks his players will benefit from having their derby match against Burnley so soon after the 4-4 draw away to Coventry.

The second round Capital One Cup tie versus the Clarets kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday night, just 51 hours after the final whistle of North End's game against the Sky Blues on Sunday afternoon.

And, after what he deemed as a lacklustre performance against Steven Pressley’s side, Grayson hopes his squad will take advantage of their chance to put things right against Burnley.

“I think it’s a great thing for the players, sometimes you can dwell on a result and performance and not play for over a week,” he told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview.

“This time it’s a two day turnaround, so the players will get their recovery day on the Monday and Tuesday we’re ready to go and go out all fired with no better game than you’re local derby.

“We’ve obviously beaten Blackpool and we’d like to turn over Burnley if we can do.”

The gaffer admits the Lilywhites had the chance to play the Cup tie on Wednesday evening but instead chose to have the derby on Tuesday, giving the North End players as much time as possible to prepare for their League One fixture against Walsall on Saturday.

“We could have played Wednesday night and given ourselves that extra day of recovery but we’ve given ourselves the extra day of recovery for the league, which is the most important thing for us now, we’ve always stressed that,” he said.

“But that doesn’t mean to say we take this game with any less importance.”

Burnley have won three, drawn one and lost one of their five opening games of the season, and the gaffer sees the Clarets as a strong side, but hopes North End can replicate the performance they put in against fellow Lancashire rivals Blackpool, come Tuesday evening.

“We know about Burnley, they’ve had a good start to the season, Sean has them well organised, disciplined,” he said

“Yes their goalkeeper got sent off at the weekend and they were up against a good Brighton team, but they’ve certainly had some good results and players that can be a threat.”

“We know what we’re up against but Blackpool had similar players that can cause you problems and we really want to concentrate on what we can do better when the opposition have the ball and also when we have it, what we can do better as well.

“I thought on Sunday our ball retention was poor and hence if you do that you keep chasing the games and the opposition.”

At Turf Moor, the away fans are located in the West Stand, which also houses the changing room facilities, and Grayson hopes the North End supporters can make a real difference on Tuesday evening, just like fans of his former clubs have done at the same stadium in the past.

“I’ve been there with Leeds and we had three or four thousand fans there and we’ve been two goals down at half time in two games and your team basically listen to the supporters and use that as motivation,” he said.

“We won both games 3-2 so hopefully we’re not involved in too many goals again but it’s great for our fans to go there and make some noise, really get behind the team.

“Our players have to give the supporters something to cheer about and hopefully we can get through to the third round because that’s where you might come up against a really big team.”

Tom Clarke was the hero against Blackpool in the last round of the competition, powering an 87th minute header beyond Matthew Gilks to win the game for PNE.

And, while Grayson is sure Burnley won’t take the game lightly, he hopes one of his players can make headlines for all the right reasons once more.

“It’s one of them games where there’s a lot at stake,” he said.

“Burnley will be desperate to win it, believe me, and they know how tense this game is and it’s got all the ingredients of a great cup tie.

“Hopefully we can come out on top again with someone making the headlines again.”




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