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Gaffer Urges Vocal Backing

12 September 2013

Simon Grayson wants the North End faithful to concentrate on getting behind his players on Saturday when Stevenage come to town.

The Lilywhites go into the match seeking back-to-back home wins and looking to make it nine points from nine and Grayson is hoping that the fans focus their attention on supporting the players in their bid for seven league matches undefeated.

Speaking to PNE.Com the gaffer said: “All we want our supporters to do is back our team.

I can’t stop people saying or doing whatever they want to do when they come to a football match, but we just need to focus all our energy and positivity on the players, because we want to make sure we are seven games unbeaten come five o’clock on Saturday night.

“Just because we are playing a previous manager makes no difference to me, we are playing Stevenage, three more points at stake and that’s all that matters.

“We want to make sure we maintain our position in sixth place and higher, regardless of who we are playing, so if we can get the supporters just to back our team, then hopefully we are all cheering come the end of the game.

“I have had my scouts out watching them as we do for every game.

“Stevenage are getting no extra attention and focus because of what’s happened previously, they will get the same attention as Oldham have and Burnley have and Blackpool have when we have played all those games before.

“We have done our homework, we know how they play and we will set out a team to try and win the game.

“We have got a good atmosphere going at the Club, the fans have been brilliant and obviously we would like to build on Monday nights win with another victory.

“It is important the home form, but it has been few and far between over the last couple of years, so we have got it going at home and obviously the atmosphere is really buoyant.”

Grayson is keen to state that consistency is a theme he is trying to instil in his players, working on the ethos that a consistent team is a key element in being a Club that can challenge at the top of the division and he also believes that the players he inherited – along with the additional players he has recruited, are more than capable of such an achievement.

“I think that has been proven by what the team did when we came in, what with only one or two defeats and the number of players that have performed on a regular basis,” said the gaffer when asked about how well the players he inherited when first arriving at Deepdale had done towards the end of last season.

“Whatever happened previously happened, we have come in and done what we needed to do and the players have responded in a great manner, so that is why most of them are still playing and are still in a team that are top six.

“I said last year that Preston are a team that underachieved with the group of players they had regardless of who was in charge.

“You have to get consistency if you are going to be successful, you can’t be relying on your team to be up and down all the time because you are never going to get to where you want to get to.

“You have to be consistent in your performances and make sure you are hard to beat, make sure you don’t give the opposition any opportunities as such, so consistency plays a long part during the course of a season.

“As a manager you want to be able to trust your players and know what you are going to get from them more or less on a weekly basis.

“There are games where you know they are going to play above their station, they are going to play below their station at times, but if you know what you are going to get, then you can go out in a confident manner knowing that you are going to get the best from your players.”

In terms of the squad available for Saturday, Jack King is the only long term absentee with Chris Humphrey back from earning his third Jamaican cap and Iain Hume also available – as he was on Monday, after returning early from international duty.

Speaking about both players’ participation with their relevant countries, Grayson continued: “We have not seen Chris Humphrey back yet, but he played ten minutes and he was delighted after the game on 
Monday that we had won and he text me to say well done and that he can’t wait to be back.

“It is a great honour for the individuals and the Club that they get the representation of playing for their country, the frustrating part is he has travelled all that distance and not got much time, but I am not to tell the national manager that he has got to go and play him.

“You look at the Jamaican team and there are players like Jermaine Beckford on the bench who have done the same thing. 

“Hopefully he is back in one piece and is fine and in this day and age the authorities of the national squads do look after them and they come back business class, first class and they have slept over, so it is not as if they are in cattle class at the back of the plane and struggling to get any sleep.

“Iain Hume trained on Tuesday morning with the group of players who didn’t play the night before.

“That was a precaution and we thank the Canadian FA for not giving him back more injured as such, but he is fine and will be around the squad at the weekend.”

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