PNE boss Simon Grayson is excited at the prospect of managing against his former club, Blackburn Rovers, on Tuesday evening.
The 43-year-old spent three years at Ewood Park as a player, making 40 appearances for Rovers, and described how tomorrow’s clash between the Lilywhites and Gary Bowyer’s side will be a Grayson family affair.
“I spent three years there, it’s a good football club and I enjoyed it there,” Grayson said of Blackburn.
“My son’s there in the academy as well in the under 15s so I’m down at Brockholes quite a lot.
“It’s a good local derby for us, Gary’s looking to implement his ideas now, he’s got new players coming in.”
With the exception of PNE’s opening fixture against Liverpool, the Club’s pre-season campaign has seen opposition gradually increase in quality – something the Gaffer believes to be of paramount importance.
“That’s the progression of pre-season, obviously the level of time you get on the pitch, the level of teams that you’re playing against are always going to be competitive and help improve from the previous game,” he said.
“We know we’ve got a tough task against Blackburn and it’ll be a test for us but a good game for us to look forward to.”
One familiar face among Rovers’ ranks will be former Huddersfield Town forward Jordan Rhodes. The striker signed for Blackburn last summer and, after the time they spent together as Terriers, Grayson is well aware of the threat the Scotland international poses.
“Jordan’s a good player and everyone’s aware of the goals he scored last year and before that for Huddersfield,” he said.
“He’s a big player for them and without him last year they could really have struggled and they were always up and down but he’s a great lad to have around but hopefully we can keep him quiet and limit him to very few opportunities.
“They have got some good players within that squad and Gary will be building them towards that first game of the season, as I am.”