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Fair Result

22 October 2013

Simon Grayson had no complaints following North End’s draw with Bradford City at Deepdale.

In what was an action packed contest, the Lilywhites came from a goal down to lead, before Rory McArdle earned the Bantams a draw in front of over 11,000 fans.

And the gaffer was satisfied with the final outcome following a tough, hard fought contest.

Speaking in the aftermath of the game, Grayson said: “I thought when you looked at it from the bench; it was a real exciting game.

“It was two teams going head to head and there was plenty of tempo, plenty of tackles, a very quick game, were both team had plenty of opportunities to win it, to lose it, to draw it.

“I just think over the course of the game it was a result that was fair for both teams.

“We will take it, it was a hard fought point tonight because they are a good team who are looking to bounce back after two defeats and obviously we got off to a poor start but we showed a lot of character, endeavour and work rate to get something out of the game.

“It is difficult to string back-to-back wins when you play Saturday-Tuesday because of the tempo of the game, it was a totally contrasting game from Saturday where we were able to get the ball down and pass it around and dictate the play.

“Tonight we tried to do that but we knew that Bradford would be pressing us and working hard and not allowing us to do that and they would get the ball forward and work from their big lad up front, so we knew we had to compete and match their endeavour which we did better second half.

“First half I thought we were a little bit off it in terms of the urgency we needed to stop them when they had possession of the ball, but credit to the players, they did not let the early goal affect them, but we are obviously a little disappointed that we have not won it but we will take a point.”

The game had the unusual circumstance of all four goals being scored with headers and the gaffer was constructive in his thoughts when discussing the two conceded by his players along with pointing out the late chances the Lilywhites had to win the game - none more so than a Chris Humphrey strike which produced a world class save from Bantams goalkeeper Jon McLaughlan.

Grayson added: “The first goal, we made the players aware of what you are going to get with James Hanson because you know he is going to come off on the diagonals and hit the back post, we didn’t stop the cross in the first place and obviously Tom Clarke has fallen asleep a little bit and not seen him, he made amends when he got up for the header and scored himself.

“We get back in with a good delivery and Bailey Wright finishes it off and then somebody doesn’t stay with Rory McArdle, so disappointing goals to concede but you have to give them credit.

“They are a big strong powerful team that make it difficult for you to play against at times because of the height and the presence and the tempo that they play with as well, so yeah we will accept the draw tonight.

“We would love to have won the game; we could have won it at the end.

“The ‘keeper made an absolutely fantastic save, Kev Davies should have probably scored with a header as well, so as I said, we could have won it, lost it or drawn it and it could be a valuable point come the end of the season.”

Tuesday’s visitors to Deepdale brought almost 3,000 fans across from Yorkshire which helped create a vocal atmosphere inside Deepdale and with the momentum the Bantams have generated following last season’s promotion and League Cup final appearance, Grayson was pleased to see a cup tie type atmosphere inside the ground.

He continued: “They have played well in the last two games that they have lost, they have got experienced players, they have got a team that has been together for a period of time now and they showed last year what they are capable of doing against some top, top teams in the cup competitions.

“They took that through into the league and got promotion at Wembley and started ever so well so we knew we were in for a tough game tonight.

“They had a big following as well here which made it a sort of cup tie atmosphere which is great to have at Deepdale.”

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