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Club News

Simon Grayson: “We Played With A Purpose”

26 April 2014

After seeing his side pick up their fifth consecutive home win, in their final regular league game of the season at Deepdale, manager Simon Grayson was in a positive mood.

The North End gaffer watched his side rack up 18 goals in that quintet of fixtures and was pleased with the form of his squad heading into the Play-Offs.

“We’ve been saying for the last few weeks that we wanted to go into the Play-Offs with momentum and getting our home form really firing and today very much like Easter Monday,” he said.

“We created a lot of chances, some things were pleasing, other things we still need to work on, but you can’t fault what the players have done today. They’ve won another game, they’ve scored goals, created chances and we are very pleased.

“We started the game very brightly and passed the ball around with a purpose and it was a really good goal that set the tone and we wanted to build upon that, but they equalised, which is something we need to deal with, but we came out in the second half and really played with a purpose.

“The chances we created first half, the game could have been over.

“We are really pleased with how certain players are playing, but more importantly how we are playing as a team.”

One player who again caught the eye was on loan forward Paul Gallagher, who made it four goals in five days with another man of the match performance the and the gaffer was full of praise for his No.12.

“You are seeing the player that everyone knows he is capable of being. He is playing with a huge amount of confidence. 

“He has not only got his goals, but the passing and the vision that you see throughout the game is there and he has been a really important player for us.

“At this, the business end of the season you need your top players to come to the table and he is certainly doing that at this moment in time.”

With the 46th and final league of the season at Crewe next Saturday to come and with a sell-out North End following, there will be no let up for the Lilywhites said the boss, especially with third place now in their own hands.

“Competition for places is fierce, as it has been all season,” he added. “We have always said that we will only have a successful season as a squad and not as individuals and we are working hard as a group.

“Regardless of what Crewe need to do, we want to win as many games as possible and see where it takes us.

“Now we are in this position we know that if we win next week we will finish third, but we could still finish third, fourth of fifth, that’s the nature of the Play-Off places at this moment in time.

“We are playing with good confidence, belief, are creating chances and it will be nice to have something riding on that game, because we want to keep an edge to the players.

“All the players will want to play and it is all about keeping the players fit enough and ready if called upon in the Play-Offs.

“I will pick a strong team, depending on where we are with injuries, and try and finish third, if possible.”

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