After his subs changed the game at Notts County last week, manager Simon Grayson is hoping whoever is involved on Saturday can leave an impression.
The North End gaffer has a lot of options at his disposal with new signing Paul Gallagher joining Iain Hume and Joe Garner to challenge last week’s starters Stuart Beavon and Kevin Davies at the front end of Lilywhites team.
With Tranmere arriving at Deepdale Simon admits that it will be hard for him to decide who will play: “I thought the substitutes changed the game,” he said. “I thought we were comfortable in the game, but we needed that extra little spark and we always say to the players, ‘when you go onto the pitch, try and make an impact’ and they have made it difficult for me to leave them out.
“Humey got his goal and Joe Garner’s work rate was very good. Those are the options that we need; it’s not about individuals, it is about the team getting the result and everybody contributed last week to getting that result.
“We are not limited or structured in what we want to or can play. We have options to play a lot of different formations and different games might suit certain individuals within the system.
“Jack King’s been out a couple of months and strolled through 70-odd minutes on Tuesday night and he has worked hard with the physios and the conditioning coach.
“He probably needs another game though. We have organised a game on Tuesday and hopefully he’ll get another run out in that and then he can be back in the first team squad.”
The visitors arrive at Deepdale on the back of some good results and will be a stern test for PNE: “I watched Tranmere at Bradford and they were very hard to break down,” continued the manager. “They play with one sat just in front of the back four and they have got some very good results playing that way.
“They beat Bradford that day, got a point at Rotherham and beat MK Dons last week. They have a young team, full of exuberance and this time last year they were flying at the top of the league, so we know what they are capable of.
“We will be respectful and try and impose our game quickly, building off the last week that we had.”
North End are looking for their first home win in a month, but the three recent games against Crewe, Oldham and Bradford are not worrying the Lilywhites’ chief: “I would like to get a home win this weekend, but we don’t get too worried about the last few games.
“It is not like we have been playing badly. We have played some good stuff, created lots of chances and just not had the breaks; but hopefully this weekend we can do enough to go and win the game,” he added.