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Club News

Grayson Looking For Latics Scalp

6 September 2013

Simon Grayson is confident that if PNE play in the manner they did against both Burnley and Walsall, then they can beat Oldham at Deepdale on Monday night.

The game against the Latics is live on Sky, with kick off scheduled for 7.35pm, as the Lilywhites go in search for their first home win of the League One season.

Previous matches in the league at Deepdale, against Wolves and MK Dons, have ended in draws, but Grayson insists North End’s home form isn’t a worry ahead of the visit of Lee Johnson’s side.

“It’s not a concern because we’ve only had two league games at home, it seems ages since we last played at home, and in both the home games we’ve played in the league, against MK Dons and Wolves, we could have quite easily have won those games,” he said.

“We know what we need to do, Oldham’s a tough test for us but if we play in the manner we have done in the last couples of games then we won’t be far away from winning another game and that’s what it’s all about.

“I’m sure the players have got a lot of confidence from the way we’ve played in the last two games, the chances that we’ve taken and the chances that we’ve created and being solid as well.”

North End have started the season unbeaten in the league, drawing four and winning one of their games so far, placing them ninth in the table in the run-up to the next round of fixtures.

However, Grayson insists there is still more to come from his squad, saying: “We’ve had a tough start, unbeaten, would have liked to have won a couple more games instead of drawing them, but we’re where we are and we’re going along nicely.

“But, as I said last week, there’s still a long more to come from this team and hopefully that’ll come to fruition over the course of the next 40 games.”

The introduction of a 3-5-2 formation, as well as regular starts for the likes of Scott Laird and Joel Byrom, has shown just how versatile Preston’s squad can be.

The Lilywhites are yet to field the same starting XI twice so far this season – something Grayson predicted before a ball was even kicked in League One.

“I think we said over the summer that whatever team starts the season isn’t necessarily going to be the team that’s going to play right the way through the season,” he said.

“Players that weren’t in that team have to be ready physically and mentally into the team, because they never know when they might be expected to put on the shirt.

“When I picked the team on Tuesday night, Joel and Laird probably didn’t think they would be starting but they’ve taken that opportunity and credit to them that they’ve kept themselves extremely fit, put in good performances when we’ve had reserve games because they have to be ready and they’ve both contributed to the two performances we’ve had over the last two games.”

On transfer deadline day the Club confirmed that striker Graham Cummins would join Rochdale on loan until January 2nd.

Since his move to PNE last season, the Irishman has failed to hold down a regular starting berth, but Grayson hopes the temporary deal to send the 25-year-old to Spotland Stadium will reignite the forward’s taste for scoring goals.

“We feel it’s a good opportunity for him to go and get some football, it suits us and it suits them, and hopefully he’ll get a few goals and come back in good spirits,” he said.

“I think highly of Graham, he just hasn’t had the chance to play because of the people in front of him.”

He added: “I just don’t think he’s been given a run of games, before we came in he’d had a couple of games and then got taken out of the team and for any player to do that, it doesn’t help them, because you’re always feeling under pressure as a striker to score goals.”

“If you get a run of games, your confidence levels will increase because you would do things after six or a dozen games that you wouldn’t do in the first because you know you might be out the team.”

Before concluding: “He has to go away and get some game time because hopefully then he can reproduce the type of performances he did at Cork and the reason the Club bought him.”

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