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Club News

The Benefits Of A Full Week

28 February 2013

Simon Grayson is looking ahead to the future rather than to the past as he aims to extend North End’s undefeated run to three matches.

The Lilywhites travel to Milton Keynes on Saturday for a clash and looking at the game, the new North End gaffer feels it is a task that will be tough, despite the run of results the opposition have recently has

Reflecting on a full week on the training ground Simon said: “It has been good because last week was very busy for us in terms of the turnaround and the short sessions and the build-up to the Swindon game.

“We have had a good clear week to work on things and the players have been very receptive with everything we have thrown at them whether it is tactical or fitness stuff.

“They have all grasped the opportunity and the ones that played at Sheffield Wednesday [in a behind closed doors friendly] on Tuesday certainly got a lot of benefit out of the game which is great for me to look at them both physically and tactically and to see what certain players can do and can’t do.

“It has allowed us to prepare for this weekend. They are a good team. They’ve been in the Play-Offs in three of the last four years and we know what they are about.

“For whatever reason things haven’t gone to plan for them this season, but that doesn’t make them any less effective. Karl [Robinson] does a good job down there and they have a way of playing that we are respectful of, but we want to try and implement our own ideas and our own game on them.

“We have worked hard as a group to look at their strengths and weaknesses this week, but we will go there looking to work on our own game and put our plans into action.”

The trip across the Pennines on Tuesday saw the players who hadn’t featured in last week’s draw with Swindon get a competitive run out and the PNE boss was pleased with the outcome.

“All the lads that didn’t play on Saturday went to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday and had a good work out,” he continued.

“We will probably arrange a game for the early part of next week to keep the fitness levels up for those players, but also to give me another look because I don’t want to judge players on the back of one reserve team game and ten training sessions.”

The most pleasing news this week was that striker Staurt Beavon’s arm injury was not as bad as it looked when he left The County Ground pitch last weekend and the only absentee from the squad for the trip to Buckinghamshire is the suspended Keith Keane. 

“Beav is alright. I think it was just more of a shock for him really as it was some kind of spasm in his arm, but he trained Monday and Tuesday so he is fine for the weekend.

“Keith’s absence gives someone else an opportunity and, as is always the case when you have a new manager, everyone wants to play and hopefully whoever steps in can take that chance.”

The terrific North End following at the County Ground did not go un-noticed by the manager, as he singled out the fans for special praise.

“The support last week at Swindon was unbelievable. One thousand supporters going down there on such a long journey was what Preston North End is all about and I am sure there will be a fantastic following at the weekend.

“Hopefully we can again give them something to cheer about.

“I felt the players did that last weekend and the supporters certainly backed the players in what they were trying to do.”

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