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Club News

Grayson On The Dons

15 August 2013

Simon Grayson is hoping Preston can build on their impressive defensive form in their game against MK Dons on Saturday.

North End have conceded just one goal in their last nine matches at Deepdale, including in home games this season against Wolves and Blackpool.

And speaking to the press about that clean sheet streak, Grayson said: “We’ve worked hard with the players defensively.

“I think the players have enjoyed playing at home again, they’ve certainly put their bodies on the line when they’ve needed to.

“We’ve been positive in our approach, we’ve not just sat back and tried to hit teams on the counter attack because that’s not how Preston North End fans want you to play and also not how I want to play.

“You have to work hard as a team and if you’re not conceding goals it gives you a great opportunity to go and win games, and we’ve got enough in the locker to think that we can still do that.”

Meanwhile, the former Leeds United, Huddersfield and Blackpool boss admits it will be tough for his side to break down the Dons on Saturday afternoon due to their slick style of play.

“They’re not going to change their way of playing, they will get it down, try and play it through the back, through the midfield areas and get it into the wide players and they’ll probably play with a striker just in behind another one,” he said.

“They’re a good footballing team, they’ve been there or there abouts in the last three or four years in the Play-Offs.

“I think they’ve gone with a bit more youth this season, I think they’ve got a couple of loan signings in, a couple of young players coming through the system as well.

“They wont be far away come the end of the season and I’m sure that’s what Karl will be expecting and the owner there as well.”

The gaffer has tinkered with formations in the opening games of the season and says he feels comfortable with deploying his squad in a variety of systems.

And he hopes that, in whatever way he sets out his side on Saturday, North End can manage a win against Karl Robinson’s Dons. 

“We’ve been adaptable in our formations so far this season, we’ve played 4-3-3, we’ve played 4-4-2, we played Lee Holmes just off Kevin Davies last week so we’ve got players who are versatile and adaptable and we’ll pick a team that we think is going to win the game,” he said.

“We know we’ve got a tough game this weekend but I’m pleased with how the players have performed so far this season, I’ve said a couple of times that there are a few things we need to work on, which we have worked on this week and hopefully we’ll see a positive outcome on Saturday.”

In preparation for this weekend’s clash some of Grayson’s side took part in a friendly match against Blackpool, which North End eventually won 6-2.

And the 43-year-old says he feels good about how the week has gone both on the training pitch and in that behind-closed-doors game. 

“It was a tough week last week, it’s been nice this week that we’ve been able to get on the training pitch and do some work, great for the majority of the players to get 90 minutes in the reserve game against Blackpool,” he said.

“People like Beavon, Joel Byrom, Jeffrey Monakana and Graham Cummins, who got a hat trick, so I think we’ve had a good week this week.”

Despite the fact the Lilywhites have scored just one goal in competitive play so far this season, Grayson insists he isn’t worried about the form of his forwards and says his players are still getting used to each others’ styles of play.

“I think all-round it’s trying to develop some relationships and understandings and get some sort of consistency, whoever you’re picking on a matchday,” he said.

“But we’ve got so many good players here that’s not going to be the easiest thing to do because we’ve got fantastic options and we’ve not had Beavon and Hume for a few games.”

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