Manager Simon Grayson is looking for his side to extend their unbeaten run to double figures when they take on Wycombe Wanderers this weekend.
The Lilywhites make the trip south to Buckinghamshire in the second round of the FA Cup sponsored by Budweiser on the back of an unbeaten November that saw the manager nominated for manager of the month, but they must make the journey without a number of players.
Joe Garner, Paul Gallagher and Bailey Wright are all suspended; whilst there are a few knocks in the camp, meaning the manager is down to 19 players to choose from, however, he believes this is the chance some of his squad will have been waiting for.
“The squad is pretty thin at the moment, but we still have enough quality to go down there and get a result,” he said. “We are assessing one or two players and are not speculating on the outcome.
“We have enough bodies to have 19 men on the bus and go and compete in what will be a tough game.
“You have to deal with these things; they are not ideal, but throughout the course of the season they will come along and that is why we have a good squad to cope with these things.
“Neil Kilkenny will be back, as will John Welsh, and it will be nice to have those two back. They have played a big part in the last couple of weeks, so there are plenty options in that area and whatever formation and team we go with, we expect a tough game, but one we want to win and one we need to win as we want to be in the third round.
“We want to win the game and keep the momentum going for the league form and keep the unbeaten run going, but we also want to be in that hat to give us a chance of being paired against one of the big teams.”
A victory would see North End labelled ball No.46 for the draw, that takes place on ITV on Sunday afternoon at approximately 4.10pm and the gaffer explained what a win and a big draw could mean to the Club.
“If you win and end up going to Old Trafford, Anfield, the Emirates or Etihad, it can mean earning anything up to £750,000 to a million pounds and that is big revenue to any club at any level
“It is important we win, but more importantly we need to maintain our unbeaten run to take into the game against Crawley and all the other games after that.
“We have to keep improving and keep working hard, because if you take your foot off the gas, something will be there to give you a rude awakening and we can’t afford to do that.
“We have had a good month with the results. We have had some good performances and some where we have ground out the results and you have to do that.
“You can’t play free-flowing football all the time, you can’t always win how you would like to do; you have to mix it up and do whatever you have to to win games and hopefully we can do that for many more weeks.”
The opposition will have been boosted by a late, late equaliser at Portsmouth on Wednesday night and Grayson is expecting the Chairboys will be fired up by their former PNE fans’ favourite manager, Gareth Ainsworth.
“We go there knowing they are a decent team,” he continued. “They have a manager who will be enthused and looking forward to this game because of his connections with the football club and they have players who can hurt you on the day.
“We have treated them exactly the same way we would any other team in our division, we have had them watched three or four times, know what to expect from them and we will be in for a tough game.”
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