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Sixfields Makes No Difference To Gaffer

23 August 2013

Facing Coventry City on Sunday at Sixfields instead of the Ricoh Arena will have no bearing on the result according to North End manager Simon Grayson.

The gaffer was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s match and he does not believe that location will concern the players on either side come game time.

Grayson said: “Coventry have put everything behind them that has been happening off the field and they have really just got on with it.

“I’m sure the manager has probably said to them: ‘let’s not let the off field problems affect our on field problems’, and you see what they have been doing, they have scored a lot of goals, they have certainly been an entertaining team, 5-4 against Bristol City, 4-0 last week against Carlisle, they have got some good players.”

“We know what to expect at the weekend, tough place, it will be strange going to Sixfields instead of the Ricoh, well people can use that as an excuse.

“Ultimately, football is played on an area of grass, with two goals and white lines and 11 versus 11, so I don’t think it will make any difference to our players and probably not there’s.”

The Lilywhites faced Fleetwood Town in a bounce game at Springfields on Wednesday, giving much needed game time to several of their first team squad.

And with three games in six days ahead, Grayson was adamant that the benefits of this will shine through- in particular for Stuart Beavon and Iain Hume.

He continued: “There is a good group of lads who played the other day against Fleetwood in a game.

“The majority got 70 minutes and some got 90 minutes, so it was a real good workout for the players who have not played too much football.

“I think the two that really benefited from it would be Stuart Beavon who got 90 minutes and Iain Hume who got 70.

“We have to keep these players fit and sharp and ready for action whenever they are required, because obviously this week, we are playing Sunday, Tuesday, Saturday, so it’s a quick turnaround and players have to be ready to step into the action if and when required.”

Jack King is the only player unavailable for Sunday’s trip south after having a foot operation on Tuesday – the day of his 28th birthday.

And the gaffer will be cautious with the versatile midfielder on his return.

Grayson added: “We knew that he had to have it pinned, he has got a stress fracture in there and the operation was successful.

“He is now on crutches, hobbling around for a week, ten days or so and then he will start his rehab.

“We will be waiting for the pin that was inserted to heal on the bone and hopefully he will get a full, speedy recovery.

“These things are not easy, players over years have struggled with them because of coming back too quickly, so we have got to be very careful with that situation, but everything so far has been a success and hopefully we will get him back as soon as we can but in a full, fit state.”

Despite failing to record a league win to date, the Lilywhites are pleased with their undefeated start to the season, with the manager still looking at ways to improve going forward.

He added: “I am always analysing the team, I am always analysing individuals and what we need to do better, analysing the coaching staff and what we can all improve on, on a daily basis,” before concluding with: “We have still got areas of the pitch where we need to be better to win games and give us a platform to have a successful season.”

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