Simon Grayson has warned his players to be wary of Swindon Town, after being impressed with Saturday’s visitors to Deepdale so far this season.
Despite only sitting in mid table at present, the gaffer was full of praise for Mark Cooper’s side, following a creditable midweek showing against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup and impressive performances this season despite scorelines not always going their way.
Speaking to PNE.Com ahead of this weekend’s encounter, the manager said: “We have had Swindon watched three, four times now and the reports back to me, coupled with when I watched them on Tuesday night, is that they are a real good, strong, passing team.
“They have got some young, exuberant players on their books from Premier League clubs and they are one of the best teams in the division in terms of passing the ball around.
“My scouts went to watch them at Wolves and said they absolutely battered Wolves and lost 3-2, so this is a real tough game for us because of how they play, how they manoeuvre the ball around and create space.
“It will probably be one of them games where we have to be more patient at home, for everybody, because it might be Swindon have a lot more of the ball than us even though we are a home, but that is not to say we won’t be trying to take the game to them and certainly imposing our ideas on how we affect the game, but you have got to be aware of what they can do with the players they have got in the team, because, as I said, they are probably one of the best football playing teams in the division.
Swindon has a few injury doubts and suspension issues ahead of the trip to Deepdale, most notably Nile Ranger, who will miss the clash with a thigh injury, but Grayson won’t be taking anything for granted.
He added: “They have got a couple of lads who have been suspended over the last couple of weeks and one or two other injuries, but they have just proved the other night that they have got a good team.
“They gave Chelsea a decent game and to play and do as we as they did do against one of the top teams in the world is testament to that group of players, so hopefully we can play to the maximum of our ability and give them a good game because they will know what we are capable of doing.
“They will have seen what we have done already this season, we have had eight games undefeated and won the last four, so they will be aware of us and it is a respectful thing both ways.”
North End head into the weekend looking to extend their unbeaten league start from eight to nine games and the treatment room is being rather sparingly used at present, which is something that Grayson is delighted with.
Speaking of the players available to him on Saturday, Grayson continued: “Our team are fine, we have had no niggles from the weekend, we have got nobody who is in any doubt, so these things all go along nicely when you are winning games, not too many people picking up injuries, it’s a bit different when you are losing games, you tend to get a few more people on the treatment table!
“We are in good stead and hopefully whatever team I pick is the right one to go and win the game.”