Simon Grayson is looking forward to a new and successful era at Deepdale, with unity between the players and fans.
The new manager will lead his team out at Deepdale this Saturday for the first time and he is hoping that a special bond can develop between the fans on the terraces and the players on the pitch, as he goes in search of his first three points on his Deepdale bow.
Grayson said: “I have said all along that it is a two way thing, the players have to give the supporters something to cheer about first and foremost, because that’s their job and that’s what they get paid for doing and as a manager that comes from me as well, but ultimately sometimes when the players are having a bad time, if a pass goes astray, then you want the supporters to be just that little bit patient with the team and then the confidence will return and come back into them.
“[As a club] we have underachieved this year, but hopefully we will re-galvanise them again and get the confidence levels back, but they are not playing 100 per cent at this time and it is a slow process, but any little step that we can take, can lead to a bigger step in the future.”
The 43-year-old is hoping to rekindle the fire from yesteryear in the bellies of the North End fans and he is looking forward to a rocking Deepdale come 3pm on Saturday when Stevenage come to town.
“It was a lively place and hopefully the supporters who were giving me stick on the touchline behind me will be on my side over the next few years!” Said the gaffer, as he joked with the press.
“People use the cliché that this is a ‘sleeping giant’ but it is, because of the fantastic fan base.
“I’m not sure how many clubs would have taken 1,000 supporters to Swindon like we did and seven, 800 against MK Dons, so it shows what they are capable of doing and hopefully we will get a good atmosphere this weekend and start generating the support to try and get to 12, 13,000, but that comes with winning football matches.
“The only way you are going to get supporters back through the turnstiles is being a successful team and that means getting results and we will try and do it in a special way if we can do, but it is all about winning matches and making it a real intimidating place for the opposition because once it gets rocking, it can be up there as one of the best grounds around.
“I’m looking forward to it,” added Simon as he spoke about his personal feelings ahead of the match.
“It seems a long time since we signed that contract, I think it was over two and a half weeks ago.
“You are always looking forward to getting back to your home ground, where you are going to be working for, hopefully, many years to come.
“It will be good to re-galvanise the place and get the supporters on your side with the football that we like to play and it is also all about results and that’s what we will be trying to do on Saturday; maintain the run that we have got going and hopefully the supporters will come and see what we are trying to do.”
After securing an impressive 1-0 midweek victory over Brentford on the back of three defeats, Stevenage will be coming into this match with a new found confidence.
But although the visitors are respected by Grayson, he is only concerned with his team and no one else.
“Glynn [Snodin] went to watch them and they played well.
“We had them watched the week before against Scunthorpe and they didn’t put in that kind of performance, but that’s what this stage of the season can do.
“You get good results, bad results, you get good performances, bad performances, so they have dug a result out which will give them a bit of confidence and we know we are going to be in a tough game, but it is about us and what we do.
“We always respect the opposition, no matter who we play and as we did recently, but if we can get on the front foot and make things happen for us, then we can certainly win the game.”
Matchday tickets are available, with fans advised to get their tickets in advance where possible for the clash with Boro, due to the expectance of a large walk up crowd on the day.
The ticket and retail store is open 9am to 5pm on Thursday and 9am until 6pm on Friday, with tickets again on sale on the day of the game from the Sir Tom Finney Stand ticket office from 9am.
You can also buy over the phone during those opening hours (lines shut 90 minutes before kick-off) on 0844 856 1966. You can also buy, without having to go through pages of registrations, online, with just a click, by visiting MYPNE.Com.