Simon Grayson believes his players will be eager to return to winning ways against Oldham Athletic on Tuesday.
The Lilywhites host the Latics at Deepdale in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round and Grayson wants to see players stake a claim for a starting jersey for the foreseeable future, by continuing their impressive home form.
Speaking to PNE.Com, the manager said: “I’m sure the players will be wanting to get back to winning ways quickly after the weekend’s result and if new players come into the team then they will be trying to impress and get into my thoughts to stay in there.
“The home form has been great since we have been at the football Club.
“We just want to keep that run going and maintain it, get this game out of the way and then look forward to the Crewe game.”
After a physically and mentally challenging match at London Road against Peterborough United on Saturday, Grayson may look to tinker with his squad for this encounter and he is pleased with the options he currently has at his disposal.
Simon continued: “We have got some good options available; we have talked about players who have not been in the team recently, who are all chomping at the bit waiting to get some sort of action.
“I have got the leading goalscorer from last year sat on the bench, the player of the year and captain on the bench, the next captain in John Mousinho sat on the bench, so there is three players that have not figured much.
“Joe Garner has played a big part this season already, David Buchanan who has been outstanding since I have been here and in the early part of the season, so I have players that maybe need games, but are we allowed to utilise them because of the rules? we will have to look into that situation, but whatever team we put out on Tuesday night won’t make us any weaker or disrespect the competition, because it’s a competition we want to win, we want to get to the final and get some silverware.
“I know it is the early stages of it but it does lead to a performance at Wembley and a good day out for everyone.
“I would say that Will Hayhurst has been a victim of the system we play.
“When we play out and out wingers, Will has been playing on the left wing for us last year and the early part of this year.
“The system hasn’t allowed Will to be in the team too much, but he has just got to get his head down and work hard.”
Tomorrow night is the second time in a month that the Latics have made the short journey to Lancashire and the gaffer is under no illusions as to how difficult it will be to make it two wins out of two against Lee Johnson’s men.
“That was probably one of the toughest games that we have had over 90 minutes,” stated Simon, when talking about the league match between the two sides at the beginning of September.
“We talk about Saturday being a tough game, but for 45 minutes we were quite comfortable in the game on Saturday, but for 90 minutes Oldham gave us a real tough game and we were quite fortunate to win that game 2-1, but we will take that.
“Will they make any changes? I don’t know.
“But they are going to be coming out to try and win the game because that is what Lee needs to do.
“They have not won too many games recently and I’m sure they will be looking to get a victory to give them a little bit of a boost.”
Grayson is no stranger to success in this competition, having won it under a different guise at Blackpool and the experience of that day is something that he would like his current crop of players to experience this season.
Discussing that day, Grayson continued: “It was a good day out, I went to Cardiff and won it and that is what I’m saying, at the end of it, if you get to the final, you can sometimes forget about all these early rounds and the low crowds etc. but to win it is something special, because it is another bit of silverware and a great day out for any supporter.”