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“We Want To Get Back On Track”

23 December 2013

Manager Simon Grayson says his side are determined to start another good run at Carlisle on Boxing Day after losing their 11-match unbeaten record.

The Lilywhites head up the M6 on Christmas Day for the early kick-off on the Bank Holiday and the gaffer was mulling over his options after losing Kevin Davies and Joe Garner through suspension.

“We have a few knocks, but we would expect that from any game and there’s nothing too severe,” he said. “We will assess everyone, have a full session Christmas Eve and then are in Christmas Day night ready to travel up to Carlisle.

“We have a good squad, numbers wise we are fine, we have two players going out through suspension, but Paul Gallagher comes back into it. 

“Losing the two players is not ideal, but we have to accept it. 

“We have Iain Hume and Stuart Beavon; Gally can play there and Lee Holmes can play behind the strikers, so we have plenty of options and hopefully the team we pick can go and get us the three points.”

The manager has his side in at Deepdale early evening on Wednesday, but admits that things might have been different if the game had kicked-off at the traditional 3pm: “Some clubs might be in, some might not, but the problem we’ve got is that we have a one o’clock kick-off. 

“If it had been a three o’clock kick-off we might have had Christmas Day off and travelled up on the day of the game, but we are now coming in at six, doing a short session at Deepdale and then going up to Carlisle.

“We have tried to give the players the opportunity to have part of the day with their families, as it is a family day, but we need to prepare properly and I think the players are happy to go with this routine.”

The clash with Carlisle as both clubs come off the back of defeats and both having lost players through suspension and the manager expects a tough test, but one that will be boosted by the vocal away following.

“They are a good team, have been in good form, apart from their result on Saturday. When you look at their results, Graham has done a good job. They’ve had some good and encouraging home performances.

“Graham has them playing in a slightly different way to the way Greg [Abbott] did. He is putting his own philosophies in place and the fact they were disappointed to lose at the weekend shows how far they have come in a short space of time.

“It is a tough game for us, they see it as a local derby and it’s a game we want to get back on track quickly with.

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“We have a fantastic following going up there with us and we are all looking forward to it. The allocation was sold very quickly and we could probably have taken another 500 or 1,000 fans with us, but I know that those who do go up there will make a lot of noise and hopefully we are leaving the game with a positive result,” he added.

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