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SG: “Enough Players Didn’t Turn Up”

18 April 2014

Manager Simon Grayson says his squad will use the motivation of seeing Brentford’s celebrations in the Play-Offs.

Speaking after the Bees earned promotion to the Championship with the controversial penalty win at Griffin Park, North End boss Simon Grayson felt his side did not reach the level of recent weeks and months.

“We didn’t have enough players turn up today to give them a proper game,” he said.

“We said before the game that we didn’t want to turn this into a party, but not enough players turned up to stop that from happening.

“When you don’t turn up and put in performances with or without the ball, then you are not going to win against anybody, especially a team that are looking for automatic promotion.

“They had more urgency, closed us down a lot more, passed the ball better. I don’t think we passed the ball to one another more than five times and that’s a big part of it – the retention being poor.

“It is hugely disappointing not to have turned up when our supporters have come a long way.

“Congratulations to Brentford on their promotion, but we have now to focus on being in the same mode come the end of the season.”

The loss came with a penalty given in the first half for a ‘foul’ on George Saville, who walked away laughing at the decision, having not been touched in the box.

“We weren’t helped by the referee’s decisions,” continued the angered PNE boss. “They were really poor decisions that have gone against us, but it is more about how we have to affect players in the future.

“The first penalty was a dive; I have seen it again and it was not a penalty.

“Hopefully this is a wake-up call and we realise we can’t just turn up and produce performances of a high calibre, especially against a team like Brentford, who have energy and pass the ball well.

“When you have the number of players off it in comparison to last week and the last few months, you are not going to get a result.”

Despite the defeat and the performance, the gaffer is pleased to have a quick opportunity to put things right: “We have done well this season, that was only the sixth time we have been beaten. We have not suffered that too many times and we have a quick turnaround on Monday to put it right.

“As much as I am frustrated with the players, and they are as frustrated as anybody that they have not turned up today, we can’t be too critical, because we have had a good season.

“We have to get back to doing what we are good at doing on Monday, which is passing the ball better, working harder off the ball and try and win those last three games.”

He finished by praising the amazing Gentry, who sang before, during and after the game and did everything they could to try and get the win.

“You can’t say enough about our supporters.

“They have been fantastic all season and I am just disappointed that we didn’t celebrate Gentry Day in the manner that we should have done with a performance.

“They have travelled a long way, spent a lot of money and the players feel disappointed with the performance. 

“We go again on Monday, with two games at home this week and use this as motivation for us for the rest of the season.

“Sometimes you need a rocket up certain parts of your body to get you going and maybe that was it for us. Today might be that little edge and a reminder of what we need to do,” he added.

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