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Gaffer: Players Can Be Pleased

23 March 2013

Simon Grayson credited his players on a day when a more clinical edge would have secured the win

The Lilywhites created a number of good opportunities to secure the victory, but were denied by some resilient Orient defending, on a day when the ball just wouldn’t drop in the back of the net.

Jack King was North End’s unluckiest player, as he seen a terrific strike superbly tipped onto the crossbar by the O’s undoubted man of the match Jamie Jones, who made a string of top drawer saves.

Assessing his team’s performance the gaffer said: “I thought we did ok, we didn’t start as well as I would have liked to have done, getting on the front foot and getting amongst the Orient players and winning second balls, but I think when you look at the first-half we had three or four real good opportunities

“There was some good defending from the Orient defenders and being really brave and we were not as clinical as we should be.

“We could have been a couple of goals up at half-time and probably the same in the second-half, we had a couple of opportunities and we really felt that the only way Orient were going to score was on the counter attack when we were pushing people forward and that is credit to our players.

“Orient are off the back of three straight wins, pushing for the Play-Offs and we’ve taken another point and another clean sheet in a game we could have quite easily won.

“Some of the opportunities, you can’t understand how they have not ended up in the back off the net and at least we created them.

“We had people getting in the right places, just sometimes they drop for you and sometimes they don’t.

“We could have possibly had a penalty when one of the shots got blocked but the players can be pleased.

“When you don’t win a game, the next best thing is to make sure you keep a clean sheet, because we have been doing that well and you pick up another point.

“You have got to give the opposition credit, they made some real good clearances and some real good blocks, so we just need to be a little bit more composed, a little bit more clinical, better decision making sometimes for us and when one or two players score a couple more goals they will be getting more confident and will score.

“We will just keep working with the players and these things will happen for us, you again see the endeavour and work rate of the players and it wasn’t to be questioned.

“I thought there were some half decent performances from them.”

North End had a scare when striker Stuart Beavon was stretchered from the pitch during the early stages of the match, after being knocked unconscious in an aerial challenge with Orient captain Nathan Clarke, but his condition is not as bad as first feared.

“He got a knock to the head from a defender,” added Simon.

“I think he was knocked out for a certain stage but as you saw he came round and watched parts of the second-half so we will assess him over the next few days, but he seems to be ok and we will assess him to see if he will be ok for the weekend now.

“Luckily it isn’t as worse as it could have been, when somebody is down you are not quite sure what is going to happen, but at least when we went in at half-time he was getting a shower and he came out to watch the second-half so obviously it was a concern at the time and luckily for him and for us he seems to be ok now.”

A huge plus for the gaffer and his players is the steeliness that the team have developed defensively, having not conceded a goal from open play now for over 440 minutes.

Praise Grayson is keen to spread amongst him team.

He continued: “They are working well as units, we had Keith Keane come in today because Paul Connolly had a bereavement in the family which is unfortunate and we pass on our sadness to Paul and his family, but the other lads have worked hard in front of them to stop Orient creating opportunities today and once you keep clean sheets, it gives you a base to go and win games.

“We kept a clean sheet today and nine times out of ten we would have won that game with the chances that we created.”

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